‘No simple answer’ to migration crisis: EU officials

Published August 6th, 2015 - 03:30 GMT

EU officials said on Thursday that there is “no simple answer” to dealing with migration after more than 400 people were rescued when a fishing boat capsized off the Libyan port of Zuwara on Wednesday.

European Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and Migration and Home Affairs Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said in a joint statement on Thursday: "There is no simple, nor single, answer to the challenges posed by migration. And nor can any Member State effectively address migration alone. It is clear that we need a new, more European approach."

At least 25 bodies have been recovered so far after the shipwreck, which Amnesty International on Wednesday called "the first incident of this scale since EU governments agreed to scale up search and rescue operations in late April."

Amnesty also called on the European Union to provide safer travel for migrants, including increased pledges to resettle refugees, expanded access to Europe through humanitarian visas and family reunification and an easing of restrictions on freedom of movement of successful asylum seekers.

"Migration is not a popular or pretty topic. It is easy to cry in front of your TV-set when witnessing these tragedies," Timmermans, Mogherini and Avramopoulos said in Thursday’s statement.

"It is harder to stand up and take responsibility. What we need now is the collective courage to follow through with concrete action on words that will otherwise ring empty," the EU officials added.

At least 100,000 migrants have fled to Europe across the Mediterranean Sea this year so far, according to the United Nations.


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