January 7, 2011
Regarding ‘Romania fumes at Franco-German Schengen blockade‘:
The Jesuit Refugee Service is seriously concerned about the recent announcement by the Greek Minister of Citizens’ Protection that the Greek government is considering building a fence along the 12.5km section of Greece’s land border with Turkey, and about the weak reaction from the European Commission.
We believe that the construction of such a fence is likely to prevent individuals seeking international protection from reaching Europe and would, therefore, lead to violations of Article 18 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and of the Refugee Convention.
The humanitarian crisis that Greece currently faces cannot be solved by such a measure. Instead, the other EU member states must urgently act and take over responsibility for hosting asylum seekers from Greece. To this effect, the application of the Dublin Regulation and the transfer of asylum seekers to Greece must be at least temporarily suspended until reception conditions for asylum seekers and migrants are adequate.
Also, we urge member states, in particular the French and the German governments, to engage constructively in recasting the Dublin Regulation, notably with regard to ensuring effective remedies against transfers and suspending transfers of asylum-seekers to countries which cannot guarantee full and fair examination of their claims or proper reception standards.
We hope that the European Commission will take a stronger stand on the issue and prevent Greece from establishing a new ‘Mexican Wall’ in Europe.
Senior Policy & Advocacy Officer