Dublin MEP, Brian Hayes has today (Wednesday) said that tomorrow’s EU Council Meeting is a test for European solidarity. Europe must speak and act as one in the face of the humanitarian disaster in the Mediterranean. The Fine Gael MEP made his comments as European leaders are due to arrive in Brussels for emergency talks on the crisis.
“Last weekend, possibly the worst disaster ever occurred on the Mediterranean coast. The area now known as the world’s deadliest border crossing took 850 lives in a single incident. This brings the total number of deaths this year as a result of people fleeing North Africa to over 1,750 – more than 30 times higher than during the same period of 2014.”
“We need to put an end to these people-smuggling gangs. There needs to be a comprehensive European approach. It is not just an issue for individual countries such as Italy. Italy has had to act alone and with minimal help from the EU. That must change and change quickly.”
“It is clear that the EU has failed to address the crisis to date. The plan put in place earlier this week by the European Commission and Foreign Ministers is a welcome step for short term solutions. However, tomorrow’s meeting of EU leaders will be the real test for European solidarity.”
“The values of the EU – security, solidarity and mutual respect among people, peace and protection of human rights will be truly tested. If we are serious about solving the crisis in the Mediterranean and preventing tragedies such as last weekend every country within the EU must act together” concluded Mr Hayes.