October 26, 2010
It is with great concern that I read the news about the EU’s Rapid Intervention Teams being sent to the Greek borders. I’m not arguing against border controls, but once again there is no mechanism set up for identifying persons in need of protection and giving assistance to them. Turkey may not be a safe place for them as the country does not recognise refugees coming from outside Europe.
Therefore, the tightening of the border controls results in an increased danger that persons who have fled from human rights violations will be denied access to protection and simply turned back. This would clearly violate not only international law but also core European values.
Instead of sending Rapid Intervention Teams, the EU and its member states should, as an act of solidarity with Greece, relocate protection seekers from that country to other parts of the EU, and urge Athens to improve its extemely poor treatment of asylum seekers.
Stefan KesslerLetters to the EurActiv editor