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Mos Maiorum – Europe's illegal reaction to it's own inertia

DiversityFrom the 13th to the 26th of October, the European Union, with the cooperation of FRONTEX and EUROPOL, is carrying out the operation “MOS MAIORUM”, targeting migrants living in the EU area.

During that period, around 20,000 police officers will control border crossings, railway and bus stations and highways throughout Europe to apprehend so-called irregular migrants - people living without official documentation granting permission to stay in the EU.

EU officials say the operation is needed to “combat human-smuggling rings” and to “gather information on smuggling routes”.

MEDEL sees with high concern this operation and demands full respect of the basic fundamental rights of all citizens, enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of European Union.

The operation itself is the proof of the failure of European Union when dealing with immigration. As MEDEL as stated in the past (“MEDEL calls for new immigration rules”, available in www.medelnet.org), in the preamble of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union the European Nations have clearly stated that “the Union is founded on the indivisible, universal values of human dignity, freedom, equality and solidarity” and that “enjoyment of these rights entails responsibilities and duties with regard to other persons, to the human community and to future generations”.

However, the European institutions have never had the courage of acting towards the establishment of a common immigration policy that could assure the possibility of a decent future for those who only want to reach Europe to provide a better life for their families, while keeping EU safe. That lack of courage has led EU to a dead end, like the operation currently in place clearly shows.

The controls carried out by police officers in borders and public transport stations are a clear and undeniable violation of the basic freedom of movement upon which the EU itself was built. Europe is denying itself when putting in place this operation.

MEDEL recalls the decision of the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations which, in June 2009, found that it is unlawful discrimination to run identity checks only to people with certain physical characteristics or ethnic backgrounds.

It was then stated that “this would not only adversely affect the dignity of those affected, but also contribute to the spread of xenophobic attitudes among the  general population; it would also be inconsistent with an effective policy to combat racial discrimination” (Rosalind Williams Lecraft v. Spain, decision of June 30th, 2009).

MOS MAIORUM means the “way of the elders”. MEDEL calls for the respect of the memory of the founders of the European Union: the path they started to pave is the one of peace and respect for Fundamental Rights and Freedoms, and not the path of racism and discrimination.

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