The Mediterranean regions, united in the face of the immigration humanitarian emergency

Last 20th of May, the Catalan Government’s Vice-President, Joana Ortega; the president of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region and former President of ORU, Michel Vauzelle, and Rosario Crocetta, President of Sicily and chairman of the Italian Comitato Permanente per il Paternariato Euromedite (COPPEM) met in Strasbourg (France) with the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, to present the campaign 'We are all Mediterranean'.

This campaign was the main topic at the Political Bureau of the CRPM’s Inter-Mediterranean Commission held on the 18th and 19th of May in Palermo, Italy, in which the three representatives took part together with other representatives from different European Mediterranean regions. This Bureau was organised to discuss the humanitarian emergency resulting from the multiple irregular migratory flows that take place on a daily basis between different parts of the Mediterranean –endangering thousands of lives and causing hundreds of fatalities every year-, as well as to develop a program of joint actions.

In this regard, 'We are all Mediterranean' denounced a lack of a real and effective management of immigration by the European institutions and called for the urgent drafting of a common policy taking into account the full consequences of it. This Mediterranean policy should include, in accordance with the democratic values, aspects such as the right to asylum and a responsible resettlement system, integration support in the place of destination, as well as the fight against people-trafficking networks arising of this reality. 

The call to implement an action plan requires the recognition of the role of regions in immigration management, since they are the gateway, before national states, of the migratory waves. Regional authorities are the ones at the frontline of its effects, and therefore they must have the necessary resources to intervene correctly. Up till now, the resources have been insufficient and don’t reflect the European solidarity with the governments dealing with this responsibility.  Michel Vauzelle, ORU’s honorary President, stated that "Europe does not measure up to its reputation” and that “the spectacle of a continent leaving Sicily and Italy to fend for themselves is unbearable". For that, he calls upon all European peoples to show a de facto solidarity.

By means of a public call available online, the awareness campaign 'We are all Mediterranean' has launched an appeal in favour of supporting the project by signing its Manifesto, as it is based on  "solidary values, intercultural and interreligious dialogue, socio-economic integration, active public participation, fight against racism, ethnocentrism and xenophobia". ORU has already endorsed the campaign and encourages its members to express their solidarity with the cause.

Both the seminar on immigration and the meeting in Strasbourg, in which the conclusions of the seminar were presented, were a good opportunity to define the basis of the next regional conference that will be held in Barcelona in July, and that will be chaired by Martin Schulz. The meeting, aimed at the adoption of a joint humanitarian strategy in the face of the migration phenomenon in the Mediterranean, will count with the participation of the affected European regions, both in the countries of origin and the receiving countries, and with some international institutions associated with immigration management. 




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