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Amnesty warns EU again on 'Fortress Europe'

Amnesty warns EU again on 'Fortress Europe'
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The new EU leadership must do more to help the plight of refugees trying to each Europe, according to Amnesty International.

The rights group says more air and sea rescues are necessary.

“The EU is certainly contributing to the spiralling death toll that we are witnessing at sea, because it is sealing its land borders, in particular in south-eastern Europe. and we have seen certainly that while the number of people trying to cross that border has lowered. On the other side more and more people are taking the dangerous journey across the central Mediterranean,” said Matteo de Bellis of Amnesty International.

The International Organisation for Migration said on Monday that more than 3,000 migrants have died trying to cross the Mediterranean so far this year, more than double the previous peak in 2011.

The release of the report came on the day that MEPs grilled Commissioner-designate Dimitris Avramopoulos on the issue.

The former Greek minister for foreign affairs, who has been assigned the migration and home affairs portfolio, said he will boost the EU’s border agency.

“Security doesn’t have to make us transform Europe into a fortress. Support me to reinforce Frontex. As for the role of Frontex, it serves only to secure the borders, and not search and rescue. That’s something that we will have to examine along the way,” he told lawmakers.