Interviews conducted with migrants stranded in southern Italy expose the failure of European reception systems to uphold principles of human dignity, hospitality and fairness, according to the findings of a new report by the Jesuit Refugee Service.
This report highlights how the much-heralded Common European Asylum System, with guaranteed minimum asylum and reception standards, is far from being achieved. Crucially, the report calls for more intra-European solidarity to fund basic minimum reception services and asylum procedures, as well as search and rescue operations.
Between 2007 and 2013, the EU allocated about 700 million euro to support asylum procedures, but almost 1,820 million euro for border controls. A year after nearly 400 migrants drowned within sight of the Lampedusa coastline, the Italian search and rescue operation Mare Nostrum has saved more than 140,000 lives. But not enough has been done to meet the basic needs of asylum seekers in Europe, neither by Italy nor fellow EU states.