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"For many years now, the death toll of migrants who drown while attempting to reach the European Union in search of a better life has tragically been rising. Most recently, public opinion was particularly shocked when hundreds of migrants drowned when a single vessel sank off the coast of Italy. The Italian government has called for the EU to adopt an action plan to deal with the issue, and the Prime Minister of Malta, calling the Mediterranean a ‘graveyard’, has called on the EU to act.

Yet shockingly, these Member States, along with four others, are blocking an EU proposal on the table that contains concrete rules on the search and rescue of migrants – precisely and solely because it contains rules on search and rescue (along with disembarkation) of migrants. In fact, they describe their opposition to such rules as a ‘red line’, ie they refuse to negotiate on their opposition to any detailed EU rules which concern saving migrants’ lives."
[emphasis in original]

See the full text: EU rules on maritime rescue: Member States quibble while migrants drown (pdf) by Steve Peers, Professor of Law, University of Essex.

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