Toespraak Amsterdam Migration Summit

Toespraak Amsterdam Migration Summit

Door Lodewijk Asscher op 18 juni 2018 Delen  

We are here – as a family – to discuss migration. The urgency is paramount.

Dear friends,

Welcome to Amsterdam. Thank you for being here.

We are here – as a family – to discuss migration. The urgency is paramount:

Andrea Nahles, our SPD colleague would have loved to be here but has to remain in Germany as a government crisis is unfolding – on migration.

The next European council is to discuss the issue but no signs of progress are visible.

Uncontrolled migration and inhumane human trafficking pose a challenge to our ideal of a free and inclusive society.

And as a stark illustration of the lack of a common approach a week ago, a ship with 629 refugees on board was refused access to Italy and Malta. Floating around in peril, with no way to go.

This ship reveals not only global inequality but also a fractured Europe. A fracture in our societies. Few topics are so divisive as migration and how to handle it.  Where arguments have become attacks. Where we are no longer talking, but screaming.

At this moment, 65 million people are on the move. War, inequality, poverty and climate change will continue to force people to relocate. This challenge is here to stay, and it will be a defining challenge for the decades to come.

How do we meet this challenge? We have to rise above the day to day discussions. Wanting to help does not make you naïve. Wanting to protect our welfare state does not make you a bad person.

The challenge that migration poses can only be addressed together. We have to unite our social democratic family. We have to unite our societies. We can overcome this.

Most of us want to do both: help people, and protect our welfare state. It is our duty to help people seeking refuge. At the same time, it is clear that we cannot help everyone here in Europe and in our countries. Uncontrolled migration and inhumane human trafficking pose a challenge to our ideal of a free and inclusive society.

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