Today’s agreement on the reform of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) cements the deadly status quo at Europe’s external borders. Contrary to all claims, the reform will not save a single human life. Together with 17 other initiatives, the sea rescue organization Sea-Watch is protesting vigorously against the Europe-wide tightening of asylum law.
In the morning of December 20, 2023, the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union agreed on the final erasure of the individual right to asylum in the European Union. The sea rescue organization Sea-Watch is taking a firm stand against the reform and makes it abundantly clear: Contrary to all public statements by EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen or German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser, the reform will not save a single human life, but will result in the deprivation of rights for people on the move. By supporting the CEAS reform, the German government is breaking its coalition agreement several times over and throwing any human rights responsibility overboard.
Dorothée Krämer, Advocacy Officer at Sea-Watch, explains: “The CEAS reform is the final death sentence for European asylum law. With today’s decisions, the EU is turning Moria into a system. Real alternatives? There would have been: safe and legal passages, a European sea rescue program and a solidarity-based distribution mechanism based on the needs of those affected.”
With the reform, the EU institutions have decided to actively deprive people on the move of their rights. For example, the pact introduces border procedures that facilitate immediate deportations; extends the concept of so-called “safe third countries” to countries that persecute their own nationals or do not even grant legal status to refugees; and detains people seeking protection, even families with small children, in prison-like conditions in remote camps at Europe’s external borders.
Read the full statement of all 18 organizations here.