OPU at ECRE Vienna Regional Meeting on 3 years of closed Balkan Route

OPU took part in the ECRE Regional Conference and Press Conference in Vienna taking look at the consequencies of the closure of the Balkan route three years ago. The participants from Germany, Austria, Hungary, Switzerland and the Czech Republic made clear that there was in 2018 on one hand a record low number of arrivals to the EU via the Mediterranean (138882) but at the sime time a large number of deaths in the Sea last year (2275 persons). The sea rescue operations have been hindered, live savers criminalized, push-backs from borders remain a serious problem in Central Europe, etc.The Swiss model of the effective asylum procedure with legal aid guarantees and the need to open safe channels to Europe for persecuted persons were presented as possible improvements to the current situation. The main Austrian TV and radio participated in the event. The full text of the press release is available here in German: