Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament
Donald Tusk, President of the European Council
Robert Fico, EU Presidency
Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission
Dimitris Avramopoulos, European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship
Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
Fabrice Leggeri, Executive Director, Frontex
Jose Carreira, Executive Director, EASO
December 6, 2016
Dear Madam, Dear Sir,
On November 29, the European Court of Justice was presented with an Action for Annulment on behalf of Mr. Shabbir Iqbal, a refugee who, after a perilous journey, is currently in Greece at risk of deportation.
The Action asked the Court to review the legality of the March 18, 2016, EU-Turkey Agreement (the act), including the provisions therein for the “returns” to Turkey of all “irregular migrants or asylum seekers” arriving on the “Greek islands” after March 20, 2016. The action seeks to annul the act in its entirety.
We, the undersigned, believe the ECJ must rule in favour of this Action, not only on the grounds of its solid legal merits and substantial supporting evidence, but also because the members of our Union’s highest Court must ensure that all laws and treaties fully comply with European and International Law in both letter and spirit.
With this Action, the Court is being asked a simple question: Does the EU-Turkey Agreement serve its purported aim “to end irregular migration from Turkey to the EU”? Or is it a perverse and surreptitious mechanism for EU member states to neglect their responsibilities toward refugees and asylum seekers reaching our shores, turning their backs on human life and violating both the letter and spirit upon which our common space was founded?
We submit the same question to you, the representatives of the EU’s highest institutions, and appeal that you step forward and stop this infamous ‘Agreement’ at once.
Of the many proceedings the ECJ is asked to hear and determine, this might be one the most critical ever: Its decision will have far-reaching consequences for the future of our Union and the credibility of its institutions.
Thus, we urge you to act immediately to stop this Agreement. We call upon you to restore the EU’s humanist roots, its obligation to respect and protect all migrants’ human rights, irrespective of their status, and to put an end to unnecessary suffering by acting before the ECJ overrules your regretful pact with Turkey.
Renata Ávila, Guatemalan human rights and technology lawyer
Walter Baier, Austrian economist
Anthony Barnett, British writer, founder of openDemocracy
Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi, Italian writer, media theorist and media activist
Boris Buden, Croatian philosopher, translator and cultural theorist
Berardo Carboni, Italian director and scriptwriter
Nessa Childers, Irish MEP
Noam Chomsky, American linguist, Professor emeritus of linguistics, MIT
Cécile Duflot, French politician; former Minister of Territorial Equality and Housing
Brian Eno, English musician, visual artist and political activist
Marcelo Expósito, Spanish artist, political activist and MP
James K. Galbraith, American economist and author
Susan George, French-American global justice campaigner
Srećko Horvat, Croatian philosopher and political activist
Katja Kipping, chairperson, German Left Party
Caroline Lucas, co-Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales
Lorenzo Marsili, Italian writer, political activist
David McWilliams, Irish economist, writer, broadcaster and journalist
Sandro Mezzadra, Italian writer and associate professor of political theory
Rasmus Nordqvist, Danish MP
Saskia Sassen, Dutch-American sociologist
Thomas Seibert, German philosopher, author, political activist
Richard Sennett, American sociologist, centennial professor of sociology, LSE
Elif Shafak, Turkish novelist, columnist, speaker and scholar
Cristina Soler-Savini, university research fellow, Paris
Barbara Spinelli, Italian MEP
Igor Stokfiszewski, Polish researcher, journalist and activist
Danae Stratou, Greek visual and installation artist
Yanis Varoufakis, economist and former Greek finance minister
Marie-Christine Vergiat, French MEP
Vivienne Westwood, British fashion designer, environmental activist
Agnieszka Wiśniewska, Polish activist, author
Slavoj Žižek, Slovenian-born philosopher and psychoanalyst