“The Charter of Lampedusa” and the quest for alternative citizenship and migration policies at the EU level

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As an organisation which envisions Europe as a multiplicity which includes and involves others, as a process and a pursuit rather than the sum of the 28 nation states that comprise the European Union, European Alternatives (EA) has from the outset been active in the area of migration. In promoting equality for all, EA seeks to uncouple the rights to democratic participation from national citizenship. In a time when we are seeing unprecedented numbers of deaths and tragedies at Europe’s borders, a hardening in migration policy in all of Europe as well as in attitudes towards the ‘other’, the time to act is now. From considerations on the Lampedusa tragedy of October 2013 and reactions to it, such as the Charter written on the island in the aftermath of the shipwreck, to the example of the long-standing, praiseworthy Riace model of outreach as opposed to detention and push-backs of migrants and asylum seekers, different aspects of migration and citizenship are explored throughout this pamphlet as are concrete legislative proposals which, should they be adopted at national and European levels, would drastically change the European landscape of migration. There is much work to be done, this much is clear. From advocating for the closure of detention centres throughout Europe and exploring the alternatives to administrative detention and tackling the human rights violations that take place there, to fostering an enhanced EU policy, mainly as regards asylum, to border management, also building on the EU’s Global Approach to Migration and Mobility (GAMM), there are many sub-areas where concrete change is fundamental. It is clear however that advancement will not be possible without a strong coalition of civil society actors, migrants, and citizens pushing for an a profound overhaul of European migration and asylum policies


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