Strasbourg, 24.06.2014 - Adopting a resolution on “The left-to-die boat: actions and reactions”, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly, meeting in plenary session in Strasbourg, today acknowledged important efforts by member States, Italy in particular, towards saving more lives at sea but said a number of concerns remain, “including failures to co-operate, define and admit responsibility and learn lessons”.
The adopted text, based on a report by Tineke Strik (Netherlands, SOC) calls for “zero tolerance towards lives lost at sea”, recommending clear, binding and common standards for search and rescue (SAR) operations and disembarkation, further commitment to assisting coastal states to increase resources for SAR and to end all disincentives for private vessels to conduct rescues. The Assembly also called for the creation of safe legal channels to Europe through further harmonisation of common asylum procedures and solidarity.
A second report by Christopher Chope (United Kingdom, EDG) on “the large-scale arrival of mixed migratory flows on Italian shores”, debated jointly with Ms Strik’s report, commended the “improved efforts by the Italian authorities to respond to emergencies”, in particular through the Mare Nostrum operation, while it underlined that there are yet further structural challenges within the Italian and European migration policies in dire need of action to make the systems fit for purpose. (more...)
Video of the debate