Loss of life, violence and inhuman treatment of
people seeking international protection at the Spanish-Moroccan border

Date

My speech in the plenary of the European Parliament on Monday 4 July

What is the state of European migration policy? After the events in Melilla, one has to say: despicable, shameful and to some extent: medieval. There is no justification for the excessive use of force at Europe's external borders, which left at least 23 people dead at the Melilla fences.

A fence shows: it is actually already too late, the cooperation of states or the world population has failed massively at certain points, which is why - you have to let this roll off your tongue - fences were put up to "protect" themselves from people who are looking for a dignified life. Above all, the right to asylum is an inalienable right.

Apart from that, the phrase "fighting the causes of flight" must not remain an advertising slogan, but must be translated into action through just climate policy and fair trade policy. Fair trade relations are characterised by the fact that both sides are better off, that the cake becomes bigger overall.

We on the European side must adhere to this and, as a major market power, must not counteract our own claims. Europe must enter into dialogue with democratic partners on the African side. Our common approach must be not to base relations on handouts and exploitation, but to represent European values through proper trade.

Making the need for fences obsolete is what the Melilla massacre demands of us as a European community of values.

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