European Alternatives is delighted to be an integral part of the process towards drafting a Lampedusa Charter for a new migration policy.
The background of the Charter to be written in Lampedusa
In the context of the Lampedusa tragedy which took place on October 4th when over 300 migrants travelling from Libya to Italy died off the island’s coast after the boat they were travelling on caught fire and sank in the Mediterranean Sea, many citizens and organisations across Europe, including European Alternatives, launched an Appeal for the opening of a humanitarian corridor for the European right of asylum reaching 20.000 signatures in a few hours.
This appeal called for a European Right to Asylum demanding that EU institutions focus on rights creating a humanitarian corridor towards Europe, so that those who flee war may apply for asylum directly to the European Institutions from countries of departure (Libya, Egypt, Syria for example) via consulates or other offices, without being forced to embark on dangerous journeys by sea, thus increasing human trafficking and the number of shipwrecks.
In the days following the launch of this call, the active engagement regarding problems of borders within the EU-Mediterranean area and the free movement of people, developed further and lead to the construction of a more comprehensive proposal: “The Charter of Lampedusa” and the quest for democratic legitimacy of EU migration policies.
European Alternatives has been an active member of this process promoted by Melting Pot Europe, calling for a comprehensive overhaul of European migration and asylum policies and proposing all interested citizens and experts to gather on the island to work together for alternative proposals in this direction.
The Lampedusa Process as a citizen-led constituent pact
Over the past two months, many international European & North African movements and associations, experts, networks and organisations, were invited on the island to start rewriting the history of the Mediterranean space and beyond, aiming at subverting the image of this notorious place, a “frontier-island-cum-spectacle”, and demanding for concrete policy change.
This process is “a constituent pact between many and diverse groups, a collective process, a common space that everyone will be responsible for preserving, each with their own practices and modalities, an opportunity to start understanding together how to construct a geography of change, in order to overcome the borders imposed by Europe and to turn this manifesto into reality.” The Mayor of Lampedusa, Ms. Giusi Nicolini, and the inhabitants of the island are also actively involved in this process and they will participate in the meetings scheduled to be held at the Airport .
A transeuropean movement for a new migration policy
From November 2013 to January 2014, European Alternatives was involved in the online assemblies and meetings with over 100 other European civil society organisations, coordinating the working group on EU & extra-EU organisations and their networks, facilitating their participation and knowledge-transfer (mainly focusing on the situation of Lampedusa, outreach, push-back of migrants, Italian policing procedures).
The Charter and all the activities around it aim at clearly determining the rights and freedoms of every person who crosses national borders in Europe and in the Mediterranean region. The meeting is an important one with hundreds of key people taking part from all over Europe. Some of our longstanding partner organisations, such as Unimondo and Za Lab, will also shoot a documentary film about this experience with the participation of people gathering to the island for the meeting, island’s inhabitants, local authorities and students.
The Lampedusa Meeting – Follow Us Online
All those who are not able to attend the meeting in person can nevertheless follow it from a distance thanks to the streaming which will cover most of the activities.
Below is the full online programme with links to the streaming channels:
– On www.sherwood.it, two co-produced live broadcastings
Saturday February 1st, 21.30 – 23.30
The island of Lampedusa, its inhabitants, their untold stories, the tale of an island forced to become a border.
Followed by: “I nostri anni migliori (Our Best Years)”, a documentary movie by Matteo Calore and Stefano Collizzoli, 2012
Here’s the trailer: www.vimeo.com/30277574
Sunday, February 2nd, 21.30 – 23.30
The poli-production of borders and boundaries by Europe, from external spaces and deportation centres to laws about residence and stay, from the externalization of borders in Lybia to everyday life of migrants.
Followed by: “Mare chiuso (Closed Sea)”, a documentary movie by Andrea Segre and Stefano Liberti, 2012
Here’s the trailer in English: www.vimeo.com/37104838
See also: 100 Special Screenings of “Closed Sea” on EA website
– On www.meltingpot.org the video-streaming of the Lampedusa Meeting for the writing of the Lampedusa Charter
The video-streaming will feature the whole meeting.
– On www.globalproject.info follow-up of the Lampedusa Charter
Interviews, comments, considerations of participants
If you are interested in cooperating with the video production and the broadcasting experience, please write to: firstname.lastname@example.org (mentioning “Lampedusa Charter: Video / Streaming” in the subject line).
To follow the event on streaming, to download the programme and to have more info please go to: www.meltingpot.org
Info & Contacts
You can also follow the “Charter of Lampedusa” process through the social media channels:
Facebook: La Carta di Lampedusa
YouTube: MeltingPot Europa
Here is the link to the full text of the “Charter of Lampedusa” as drafted and unanimously approved in Lampedusa on February 1st, 2014: