Representatives of European Mediterranean Regions met in Palermo on 18 and 19 May 2015 to launch the “We are all Mediterranean” campaign and to discuss the challenges linked to the migration tragedies in the Mediterranean.
Given the scandal of thousands of children, women and men who are drowning in the Mediterranean, fleeing war, persecution, poverty and extremism, this campaign aims to reiterate the humanistic values on which the common European project is founded. Europe must, on one hand, be a protagonist in the peace process in the Mediterranean and tackle all organised crime networks (arms trafficking, etc.) and, on the other hand, it must respond to the humanitarian crisis posed by migrants, ensure rescue operations at sea and welcome the migrants properly in dignified conditions.
Regional and Local Authorities are on the front line without having sufficient means. They often bear the human, financial and technical responsibility of saving lives and supporting migrants in their economic and social integration. They are reaching out to those people who are risking their lives, regardless of their religion, skin colour or origin.
Regional and Local Authorities call upon the European institutions to draw up a genuine Mediterranean Policy that takes into account the management of migration flows and addresses the challenges of the common destiny that unites the peoples of the Mediterranean.
This policy must include the right to asylum, the joint fight against people smuggling networks, a resettlement scheme for migrants based on shared responsibility, sustainable management of reception centres, integration assistance, the fight against terrorism and the promotion of democratic values. It must contribute to peace, prosperity and cohesion in the Mediterranean.
Europe must develop its police and judicial cooperation with countries in the crisis area, their immediate neighbours and transit countries for migration flows, whilst promoting decentralised territorial cooperation to support Mediterranean populations in their quest for development.
More than ever, as Mediterranean, we must express our solidarity and speak out together to take Europe forward on the path of its values!
This awareness campaign “We are all Mediterranean” is based on the values of solidarity, intercultural and interreligious dialogue, socio-economic integration, active citizen participation and cooperation, the fight against racism, ethnocentrism and xenophobia