Target: Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission
Goal: Force all countries in the European Union to grant asylum to refugees.
The influx of refugees seeking asylum in Europe has become a humanitarian crisis. Without a cohesive EU refugee policy, individual countries are establishing their own protocols, freeing themselves from any obligation and leaving the fate of the refugees in the hands of shady smugglers. Tragedies are becoming commonplace; recently, 700 refugees drowned after a boat capsized off the coast of Libya and 71 suffocated to death in a trailer driving through Austria.
The UNHCR, a United Nations agency for refugees, estimates that since the beginning of 2015 more than 300,000 people have risked their lives trying to seek asylum in Europe. Reports have come out that refugees, under the hands of smugglers, have been beaten, pushed into hazardous enclosures, burned, thrown overboard, or forced to pay thousands of dollars just to get a fresh breath of air.
The refugees who make it to Europe are entitled to asylum under the Common European Asylum System. However, the Dublin Regulation restricts them from leaving the country they arrived in until their asylum is granted. Due to this and the ever-increasing influx of refugees, coastal countries, such as Italy and Greece, have become overwhelmed with asylum seekers and have ran out of housing and supplies for them. Conditions in the overrun refugee camps in these areas have been described as inhumane. To get to better living conditions or family members who are established in other parts of Europe, refugees must go through the smuggling process all over again. The situation would be more manageable and safe if refugees could spread out, but EU countries are trying to back out of their responsibilities to let them in. Hungary recently built razor-wired fences along their borders in an attempt keep out any further refugees.
This tragic crisis has shown the dire need for reform within the EU’s governance. Urge the European Commission to adopt a harmonized asylum policy that will grant EU-wide rehabilitation to refugees.
Dear Mr. Juncker,
The refugee crisis is a huge challenge for the European Union and I appreciate the asylum your Common European Asylum System grants them. However, as the crisis worsens and death tolls rise, more must be done. Providing open borders is a core mission and purpose of the EU, yet you’re leaving the responsibility of mass influxes of refugees to a small handful of countries that are ill-equipped to meet the needs.
Germany recently allowed Syrian refugees to apply for asylum within their borders, which can set an example for the rest of the EU to follow. The EU must get rid of the Dublin Regulation and make asylum status valid throughout all of their countries. A quota should be set to ensure there’s a fair distribution of refugees throughout the member states.
Please put politics aside and come together, as a true union, for this severe humanitarian crisis. To ensure that refugees have humane conditions throughout Europe, while accounting for the needs of your member states, I urge you to adopt a EU-wide refugee policy.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: UNRWA/AP/NTB Scanpix