A peaceful protest in Zagreb calling for a better response from the EU to the ongoing migrant crisis.
On Saturday, nongovernmental organizations organized peaceful protest on the European Square in Zagreb and expressed their dissatisfaction with the slow and inadequate response of the European Union to the humanitarian crisis, calling for the opening of borders to refugees fleeing from war-torn areas, reports Index.hr on September 12, 2015.
Activists from the Base for Workers’ Initiative and Democratization, Centre for Peace Studies, the Society of Africans in Croatia, No Border Initiative, KOMA Association, Right to the City Association, Zagreb 041 Football Club and Green Action, carried the banners saying “Open the Borders, Refugees are Welcome”, “No Borders, No Nations”, and “No One is Illegal”. In this way, they warned that the EU has for many years responded to the migrations with closing its borders and building an impenetrable fortress.
Julija Kranjec said it was high time that the EU, in particular member states with colonial history and the history of military interventions in the Middle East, takes a historical, moral and political responsibility for the crisis. “We urge the EU institutions, the European Commission and the European Parliament to, in accordance with the basic values of peace, economic security and unity, revise the common European asylum policy, which would ensure legal and safe entry of refugees into the EU”, said Kranjec.
That should primarily be done through the liberalization of visa policy and the opening of international corridors, which would be low risk and would ensure the passage of refugees without danger. She believes that the EU member states should review the Dublin Regulation, which prevents the movement of refugees to the desired safe countries. In addition, said Kranjec, the EU should focus on creating long-term solutions for the social, cultural and economic integration of refugees.
Maruška Mileta from Green Action emphasized that the citizens themselves, rather than the states, are providing assistance to refugees. “The EU, instead of sending help, is closing its borders”, she added, noting that the Croatian citizens have in recent months organized charity events to express solidarity with the refugees in Serbia and Hungary.
Kranjec added that the NGOs have organized themselves in order to express their solidarity with refugees and send the message that the EU and the society should fight against xenophobia and racism.
Princ Wale Soniyiki, a Nigerian who is a member of the Society of Africans in Croatia and who was himself a refugee, called for solidarity and assistance to refugees, saying that they were fleeing from war-affected areas. “In the name of humanity, Croatia should open its doors to them. From personal experience, I know that Croatia and the EU should give them the opportunity that I had”, he concluded.