Federica Mogherini, chief of EU’s foreign policy, has appealed to the United Nations to back the migrant crisis plan to fight against human traffickers in the Mediterranean.
Mogherini affirmed that EU’s number one priority is to save lives and aims to fight against the deadly crisis in the Mediterranean to prevent further loss of lives.
“We cannot do this alone. This has to be a common global effort.”
“That is why we count on your support to save lives and dismantle criminal organizations that are exploiting people’s desperation,” said Mogherini.
Mogherini also assured that no asylum seeker “will be sent back against their will.”
Over 2,000 people have died trying to take the perilous voyage from Africa to Europe.
According to the European Union, 60,000 people have tried to cross the Mediterranean since the start of this year.
The EU is trying to take serious and definite solutions to eliminate chances of people dying trying to cross the Mediterranean and smugglers undertaking the illegal journey.
The first step towards a solution was taken on April 23, when the European Union decided to increase patrols in the Mediterranean Sea against human trafficking, following the deaths of more than 800 migrants on April 20.
The joint patrol of EU members rescued over 7,000 people last week and is still on continuous lookout.
On Monday, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced that on Wednesday, a proposal of the “mandatory migrant quota system” will be made to members of the EU in efforts to lay out a legal path for the migrants to seek refuge in other countries rather than making the perilous sea crossing.
The quota will be based on a “redistribution key” around a country’s population size, unemployment rate and number of asylum seekers previously accepted.
Yet, there is uncertainty that the proposal may be approved as the UK is strongly against the idea and the suggestion needs to be agreed upon by all EU states.
Although, the UK is preparing to oppose to the proposal, France and Germany have welcomed the idea.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve announced that France supports EU’s proposal to evenly distribute refugees and that this will definitely relieve the tension and burden on the commission's southern states.
As the EU commision is planning to propose the quota, members of the European security council, Britain, France, Lithuania and Spain have planned to draft a resolution under the Chapter 7 of the UN charter, which will allow EU members to destroy boats used to smuggle people.
“The crucial thing for the European Union is destroying the business model of trafficking and smuggling organizations, making sure that vessels cannot be used again,” said Mogherini.
However, Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin has defined the destruction of boats as “going too far.”
“Smugglers rent boats from locals who are unaware of the issue,” said Churkin.
EU is planning to finalize the plan on May 18 and the UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon is expected to arrive in Brussels on May 26, to further discuss the current crisis and to try to convince the European parliament to come to an agreement.