humanitarian crisis


Humanitarian crisis: Don’t blame Brussels for inaction

I call on Member States to adopt the Commission proposals on the emergency relocation of altogether 160,000 refugees at the Extraordinary Council of Interior Ministers on 14 September. We now need immediate action. We cannot leave Italy, Greece and Hungary to fare alone. Just as we would not leave any other EU Member State alone”. This was the message delivered by Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission in his State of the Union address last Wednesday [9 September]. This clear and concrete proposal from the Commission is supported by the United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees and European civil society. So, who is to blame for blocking the emergency plan? Our national leaders.

Governments too often finger point at Brussels, claiming it is the source of problems in reaching an agreement on the crisis, but on this matter Member States are proving to be the barrier to an EU coordinated plan. This is why we have launched our #WeApologise campaign to say sorry to people fleeing war, persecution and poverty for our leaders’ inexcusable lack of coordinated response.

It is still possible to find a joint solution. The Ministers of Justice and Home Affairs are meeting today in Brussels to discuss the Commission’s proposal. This is their chance. To show them that civil society is united behind the Commission’s proposals, last Friday we issued a joint letter with CONCORD Europe and the European NGO Platform on Asylum and Migration (EPAM) with our recommendations in response to the crisis.

It is no secret that we have our disagreements with the Commission regarding its social agenda and its role in reducing inequalities, combating poverty and ensuring the social inclusion of people in vulnerable situations in Europe. But today, I know that we are united in our call on Member States to fulfil their humanitarian obligation. So don’t blame Brussels – national leaders are the final hurdle in reaching a coordinated plan to address the humanitarian crisis.

Until our leaders agree on a pan-European approach to the crisis, we will continue to stand up for the people affected by their inaction. If you wish to stand with us, contact us here to sign up to our #WeApologise letter

Let’s engage,

Pierre Baussand, Director