Due to the Covid-19 outbreak this meeting was held as a video conference.
The overall picture is that humanitarian crises - far from mainland Europe - lead to flows of refugees, which the EU may have to deal with. When these refugees and/or migrants reach European territory, it is seen as an asylum and migration issue. The success of this policy is - to put it mildly - variable.
For several years now, we have witnessed how the European, or Greek, approach to migration, as it occurs in the Mediterranean, leads to degrading scenes on the Greek islands. Outside Greece, too, attention is drawn to the creeping emergence of ‘Greek situations’ as a result of policy failures. In Curaçao and Aruba, the growing number of Venezuelans seeking salvation there is not being properly accommodated. These independent countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands are seeking refuge in a restrictive migration policy as a result of which large groups of refugees – who (may) be entitled to international protection – fall between two stools.
We can conclude that the migration and asylum policies of EU Member State Greece or of Aruba and Curaçao, independent countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, are inadequate. And that new humanitarian crises have arisen on the territory of the European Union and of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, due to the strict adherence to a policy of admission and deportation. Apparently, the Union and the Kingdom are not prepared to deal with these humanitarian emergencies in a swift and dignified manner.
In a Round Table discussion (under Chatham House Rule), Cordaid, Stichting Vluchteling and KUNO together with civil society organisations and academics active in the field of humanitarian aid, human rights and refugee issues, and political parties, explored how the current humanitarian crises on European territory (see the Greek islands) or territory strongly linked to European member states (such as the ABC islands) can be tackled.
A small summary of the meeting can be read here.