Mediterranean Crisis

  • The Mediterranean is the world’s deadliest migration route. Over 3,200 died in 2014, and the death toll in the first four months of 2015 was at least 1,750. Half of those taking the dangerous journey come from countries torn apart by war, generalized violence, or with repressive governments, such as Syria, Eritrea, Somalia, and Afghanistan. The countries of the European Union have emphasized preventing departures and cracking down on smugglers over saving lives at sea. The EU should ensure robust search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean and create safe and legal migration channels into the EU, including by increasing resettlement quotas, establishing wider access to humanitarian visas, and facilitating family reunification. EU countries should also ensure a more equitable sharing of the responsibility for asylum seekers.