The migrant crisis has exposed the consequences of European ignorance and prejudice. We can no longer afford to turn a blind eye – our complicity threatens to undermine the entire European project.
Take the case of Nasir, an Afghan deported from the EU because his asylum application was rejected. Back in Afghanistan, he was a victim of a Taliban violence – the very violence from which he had fled. Or consider the case of Hayat Hooman, whom we paid to flee our continent, only to face further violence across the ocean.
The emerging question is simple: How can we, Europeans, take pride in our project in the face of all the pain that Nasir goes through? Is this part characteristic of our western ‘civilization’?
We must develop a movement to combat the growing wave of xenophobia worldwide. Countries across Europe are today engaged in a debate – though not always a fully informed one – on the number of refugees that Europe can handle, on how many asylum seekers to accept or on where refugees should be deported. DiEM25 members strongly oppose the framing of these debates.
We want to be able to look ourselves in the mirror and feel proud of our EU, not shame on its behalf. We envision an open Europe that welcomes people and supports families, instead of deporting them to unsafety. A Europe without shameful deals with neighboring countries. A Europe with compassion.
Aris is a member and volunteer of the DiEM25 movement.
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