At a hearing arranged by the European Parliament’s Human Rights Committee, EU Commissioner Ylva Johansson, Lippi, said the boat tragedy in which more than 600 migrants are believed to have died outside Greece shows shortcomings within the union.
– We are not doing enough to prevent these tragic events at the EU level.
When asked by parliamentarians whether the EU should not actively carry out search and rescue, i.e. rescue operations, to rescue migrants in the Mediterranean Sea, Johansson said that this is a responsibility of member states and that they can cooperate with each other.
– We can help them coordinate. But it is their responsibility to do so.
It also received a large number of questions about why the commission was satisfied with the Greek authorities investigating the incident in June, rather than an independent investigation.
What makes the Commission trust the Greek authorities to investigate this matter?? questioned liberal parliamentarian Sophie N. Field, noting that the Hellenic Maritime Court, which is leading the investigation into the responsibilities of the coastguard, has never convicted anyone in so-called coastguard responses, as recorded by other organisations.
Johansson replied that this is how the EU is organized.
–It is the responsibility of Member States to investigate such matters. The committee does not have a mandate to do so. So we have to rely on the investigations of Member States.
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