Rome (NEV CS/07), 6th March 2020 – “What is happening on the borders of Europe, in Greece and Turkey, challenges Europe’s moral and legal conscience, and spurs European society – and therefore the churches – to a fresh commitment to refugees, who are daily more vulnerable,” says Luca Maria Negro, FCEI president. “To that end, as Protestants and as European citizens, we are making an urgent appeal to national and supra-national institutions to roll out a plan of action which provides for the relocation to other European countries of, at the very least, the most vulnerable people currently gathered in Greece.
Italy should do better by Greece – and do more than Europe has done for Italy. To that end, strengthened by our experience in Humanitarian Corridors implemented from Lebanon to Italy from as far back as 2016, as Protestant churches, we are available to play our part in any reception plans co-ordinated by the Government.
At the very least, minors need to be brought to safety, a sentiment echoed by countless voices throughout civil and political society.
However, the urgent need for intervention targeting refugees on the Greek islands should not detract from the need for steps which take us beyond the EU-Turkey Statement. As institutional sources confirm, that deal has not guaranteed respect for human rights and has entrapped thousands of refugees who are now prevented from going forward or returning.
Last but not least, the negative effects of the so-called Security Decree must be contained and replaced by realistic measures founded in our Constitution which open safe, legal and sustainable pathways into Italy. The imminent renewal of the protocol which made it possible for Humanitarian Corridors into Italy to piloted is an ideal opportunity to relaunch this example of good practice throughout Europe”.