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FYEG Statement on European Council Meeting

Two big issues dominated the agenda of this week’s European Council meeting in Brussels: Brexit and the European evergreen: migration.

We are concerned that even on the first anniversary of the Brexit referendum, EU citizens in Britain still don't have certainty about their post-Brexit legal status. Theresa May's "offer" is a joke. What Europeans, including the British living on the mainland, need is not ambiguous declarations of intent, which turns people into bargain chips in the upcoming negotiations, but clear securities for their futures in the form of internationally claimable rights. We urge Theresa May, but also her European counterparts, to make absolutely sure the rights of all current EU citizens are on top of the agenda, rather than taking second place to economic or other matters.

In terms of migration, another disappointment. Instead of acknowledging the spectacular failure of their migration regime and fixing it for the sake of thousands of lives lost each year in the Mediterranean and Europe's image as a beacon for democracy and human rights, the council reaffirmed its despicable approach of blocking migration. We are appalled by the constant European attempts to portray its policies as a "partnership" with Africa. This is no partnership but an unacceptable dumping of responsibility to those with way fewer resources and often horrific human rights records. If Europe wanted a true partnership to tackle the root causes of migration it would offer safe and legal ways for people to come to our continent, offer true support on the terms of local partners in the countries of origin and start portraying migration as what it is: not a threat, but a great opportunity.