The conference heard that the experience of one Eritrean refugee, published in the report, is “all too familiar.”   The boat on which he was fleeing was intercepted by Greek authorities, who then confiscated the engine and abandoned its occupants. He was rescued by fishermen, but detained on arrival in Greece.

Even those who make it to Europe cannot be considered safe

Stefan Kessler

A conference in Brussels has heard that the EU “actively hinders” the arrival of refugees to Europe.

The event was told this is the result of a “deep-seated aversion” of EU countries to give forced migrants access to asylum procedures.

Member states had also “failed” to agree on comprehensive reforms to improve national asylum systems, it was said.

The conference, organized by JRS Europe, heard that this year some 2000 migrants had been killed in the Mediterranean as they tried to flee to Europe.

Stefan Kessler, JRS Europe senior policy officer and author of their new report, said, “While the ‘Arab Spring’ may have ignited the democratic aspirations of North Africans, it has revealed the deep-seated aversion of EU states to give forced migrants access to asylum procedures in Europe.”

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