Europe must not close itself off. In view of European colonial history, there is a shared ethical responsibility for the precarious living conditions in many developing countries. A protectionist refugee policy is immoral and unworthy of an alliance of democratic industrialised countries. Every year thousands of refugees die on their way to Europe, most of them in the Mediterranean. Elementary human rights oblige us to help these people without any ifs or buts. An EU-wide, coordinated sea rescue system must therefore be set up without delay.
Private aid organisations must not be harassed and criminalised. The focus in combating the causes of flight must be on cooperation with third countries. Escape routes must not be closed at any price; compliance with basic human rights and procedural standards must also be guaranteed in third countries. Safe living conditions must be created in states in which people make their way to Europe in the absence of social and economic prospects. Development aid and economic support must be concentrated on creating sustainable and decent living conditions. In particular, this requires fair trade relations in order to keep markets in third countries competitive.