In response to the Prime Minister of Italy’s call to clear Lampedusa of all migrants, Jonathan Ellis, Director of Advocacy at the Refugee Council said:
“Such statements such as from Prime Minister Berlusconi show the urgent need for all the EU member states to take practical action as well as to speak the language of solidarity. As the humanitarian crisis develops in North Africa, Europe has to be ready and that cannot mean just relying upon the southern European States.
“The EU developed the Temporary Protection Directive to respond to exceptional circumstances such as these, to ensure that all of Europe shares responsibility for helping people in search of safety. We urge the EU member states to worry less about language and media stunts and more about developing concrete plans for dealing with people in need of protection if this crisis continues.”