Dr Ruvi Ziegler, Associate Professor of International Refugee Law at the University of Reading and Chair of New Europeans UK, is a prime mover behind the campaign for safe and legal routes in Europe.
161 academics including Dr Ziegler have written to MEPs prior to a crucial vote in the European Parliament calling on the Commisison to table a legislative proposal establishing a Humanitarian Visa.
The vote was passed and New Europeans will continue to campaign for humanitarian visas and for the introduction of safe and legal routes to Europe.
Speaking after the vote,Dr Ziegler said:
"I am delighted that, in line with our call to action, the European Parliament has recognised the urgent need for establishing a European humanitarian visa that would give effect to the right to seek asylum and to the values of respect for human dignity and human rights on which the EU is constituted. We hope the Commission will heed Parliament's call and table legislation by March 2019."
Text of the letter sent by the academics from across Europe
Dear Members of the European Parliament,
Ahead of the Tuesday, 11 December 2018 Plenary vote on a motion requesting the Commission to table, by 31 March 2019, a legislative proposal establishing a European Humanitarian Visa, we the undersigned, academics specialising in European migration and asylum policy, would like to request you to vote in favour of the motion.
The Legislative Own-Initiative Report on Humanitarian Visas by your colleague, MEP Juan Fernando López Aguilar, is the result of a long process of consultation with many stakeholders, including civil society actors and organisations as well as academics, adopted with the agreement of the Political Groups represented in the LIBE Committee.
It constitutes an important political achievement before the end of Parliament´s current mandate and a concrete delivery on the pledges made in the European Agenda on Migration and prior instruments regarding legal pathways to the Union. Approval of the Report will allow for the delivery of Humanitarian Visas, a mechanism of safe and legal access to international protection in the Member States, in line with the rights-based understanding of the Common European Asylum System propounded by Articles 67 and 78 TFEU and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
The proposal is based on a non-binding principle for Member States, equal to the one underpinning current Article 25 of the Community Code on Visas concerning Limited Territorial Validity visas (LTVs). The added value of this initiative lies in its harmonisation of criteria and procedures for the issuance of Humanitarian Visas, if and when Member States consider it necessary to deliver one in relation to a third-country national who is subject to the visa requirement under Regulation 539/2001, who is in need of protection against a real risk of being exposed to persecution or serious harm, and who is not covered by any other instrument providing legal access to asylum, such as resettlement.
It is high time to find innovative solutions addressing both the needs of persons seeking protection and the Member States. A courageous step is necessary for the EU to live up to its values of respect for human dignity and human rights in line with Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union.
We, therefore, call on you to vote in favour of the Humanitarian Visa Resolution.
Dr. Violeta Moreno-Lax, Queen Mary University of London, UK.
Professor Elspeth Guild, Queen Mary University of London, UK.
Professor Didier Bigo, King’s College London, UK and Science Po Paris, France.
Dr. Niovi Vavoula, Queen Mary University of London, UK.
Dr. Ruvi Ziegler, University of Reading School of Law, UK.
Dr. Charles Heller, Forensic Oceanography project, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK.
Dr. Lilian Tsourdi, Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford, UK.
Dr. Lorenzo Pezzani, Forensic Oceanography project, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK.
Dr. Itamar Mann, University of Haifa, Israel.
Dr. Anuscheh Farahat, Goethe-University Frankfurt, Germany.
Dr. Paolo Novak, SOAS, University of London, UK.
Dr. Ruth Fletcher, Queen Mary University of London, UK.
Dr. Sonia Morano- Foadi, Oxford Brookes University, UK.
Ms. Marta Minetti, Queen Mary University of London, UK.
Dr. Bríd Ní Ghráinne, Judicial Studies Institute, Masaryk University, Czech Republic.
Mr Tommaso Emiliani, College of Europe, Bruges, Belgium.
Dr. Jessica Schultz, CHR Michelsen Institute, University of Bergen, Norway.
Dr. Boldizsár Nagy, Central European University, Hungary.
Dr. Daniela Vitiello, University of Florence, Italy.
Mr. David Fernández Rojo, University of Deusto, Spain.
Ms. Maja Grunder, Queen Mary University of London, UK.
Dr. Tesseltje de Lange, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Ms. Kathryn Allinson, Queen Mary University of London, UK.
Ms. Anastasia Vikhanova, Queen Mary University of London, UK.
Professor Engin Isin, Queen Mary University of London, UK.
Ms. Silvia Carta, Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium.
Dr. Agnieszka Kubal, University College London, UK.
Ms. Evita Armouti, Institute for European Studies, Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium.
Dr. Joana Abrisketa, University of Deusto, Bilbao, Spain.
Prof. Dr. Saša Zagorc, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Dr. Felipe Gómez Isa, University of Deusto, Bilbao, Spain.
Ms. Valentina Pilloni, University of Cagliari, Italy.
Dr. Christina Oelgemoller, Loughborough University, UK.
Prof. Dr. Nicos Trimikliniotis, University of Nicosia, Cyprus.
Dr. Elisabeth A. Diamantopoulou, Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium.
Dr. Sílvia Morgades Gil, GRITIM, Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona, Spain.
Dr. Sarah Wolff, Queen Mary University of London, UK.
Prof. Dr. Francesco Maiani, University of Lausanne, Switzerland.
Dr. Adnan Hadziselimovic, University of Malta, Malta.
Ms. Katharine T. Weatherhead, Queen Mary University of London, UK.
Professor Beatriz Pérez de las Heras, University of Deusto, Bilbao, Spain.
Dr. Meltem Ineli-Ciger, Suleyman Demirel University, Turkey.
Professor Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, University College London, UK.
Dr. Cathryn Costello, Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford, UK.
Dr. Tineke Strik, Centre for Migration Law, Radboud University, The Netherlands.
Professor Marie-Benedicte Dembour, Professor of Law and Anthropology, University of Brighton, UK.
Dr. María Nagore Casas, University of Deusto, Bilbao, Spain.
Professor Elina Pirjatanniemi, Åbo Akademi University, Finland.
Professor Colin Harvey, Queen's University seeBelfast, Ireland.
Professor Gregor Noll, Gothenburg University, Sweden.
Dr. Saskia Bonjour, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Dr. Alexander Hoogenboom, Institute for Transnational and Euregional Cross-border Cooperation and Mobility, Maastricht University, The Netherlands.
53) Dra. Francina Esteve Garcia, University of Girona, Spain.
54) Dr. Matilda Arvidsson, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
55) Professor Sylvie Sarolea, Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium.
56) Ms. Victoria Barry Brown, Queen Mary University of London, UK.
57) Professor Juan Santos Vara, Jean Monnet Chair, University of Salamanca, Spain.
58) Dr. Anna Liguori, University L’Orientale Naples, Italy.
59) Dr. Daria Davitti, Lund University, Faculty of Law, and University of Nottingham.
60) Professor Giuseppe Cataldi, Coordinator Jean Monnet Network on Migration and Asylum Policy Systems, University L’Orientale Naples, Italy.
61) Dr. Jean-Pierre Gauci, People for Change Foundation, Malta.
62) Dr. Dorothy Estrada-Tanck, University of Murcia, Spain.
63) Professor Nuno Ferreira, University of Sussex, UK.
64) Professor Seline Trevisant, Utrecht University, The Netherlands.
65) Mr. Richard Williams, consultant, Brighton, UK.
66) Ms. Christine Cassar, People for Change Foundation, Malta.
67) Dr. Jorge Piernas, University of Murcia, Spain.
68) Dr. Diego Acosta, University of Bristol, UK.
69) Ms. Vittoria Meissner, Technical University of Munich, Germany.
70) Ms. Jenny Money, Research Associate, University of Sussex, UK.
71) Mr. Lukasz Dziedzic, Tilburg University, The Netherlands.
72) Prof. Anthony Good, University of Edinburgh, UK.
73) Ms Agnes Flues, Human Rights Law Centre, University of Nottingham, UK.
74) Professor Sally R Munt, University of Sussex, UK.
75) Mr Oscar Pajuelo Liberati, Queen Mary University of London, UK.
76) Dr. Markus Gunneflo, Lund University, Sweden.
77) Dr. Marion Panizzon, Institute of Public Law, University of Bern, Switzerland.
78) Professor Brad K. Blitz, Middlesex University, UK.
79) Ms. Mariana Gkliati, Leiden University, The Netherlands.
80) Dr. Ulrike Brandl, University of Salzburg, Austria.
81) Dr. Paolo Cuttitta, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
82) Mrs Ruth Brittle, University of Nottingham, UK.
83) Professor Jose Lopez Hernandez, Universidad de Murcia, Spain.
84) Dr. Maria Pisani, University of Malta, Malta.
85) Dr. Daniel Steuer, CAPPE, University of Brighton, UK
86) Dr. Montserrat Pi, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain.
87) Dr. Marco Fasciglione, IRISS-CNR, Italy.
88) Dr. Carmelo Danisi, University of Sussex, UK, and University of Bologna, Italy.
89) Dr. Ana Ayuso Pozo, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain.
90) Dr. Mariona Illamola Dausà, University of Girona, Spain.
91) Dr. Francesco Pasetti, CIDOB, Spain.
92) Dr. Cecilia Vergnano, AISSR, Amsterdam.
93) Professor Niels Frenzen, University of Southern California, USA.
94) Professor Richard Ashcroft, Queen Mary University of London, UK.
95) Professor Thomas Spijkerboer, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
96) Dr. Marina Sharpe, Faculty of Law, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.
97) Mr. Tony Bunyan, Director, Statewatch.
98) Dr. Delia Ferri, Maynooth University Department of Law, Ireland.
99) Dr. Elena Sánchez-Montijano, CIDOB, Spain.
100) Dr. Ioana Bunescu, Malmö University, Sweden.
101) Ms. Alexandra Bousiou, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
102) Ms. Shreya Parikh, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA.
103) Dr. Helen Hintjens, International Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, Netherlands.
104) Dr. Mariagiulia Giuffré, Edge Hill University, UK.
105) Professor Michaela Hynie, York University, Canada.
106) Ms. Sofia Lucas Areizaga, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain.
107) Mr. Stefanos Xenofontos, University of Birmingham, UK.
108) Dr. Liza Schuster, City University, London, UK.
109) Dr. Eiko Thielemann, LSE, UK.
110) Professor Jef Huysmans, Queen Mary University of London, UK.
111) Dr. John Reynolds, Maynooth University, National University of Ireland.
112) Dr. Jill Alpes, Nijmegen Center for Border Research, The Netherlands.
113) Prof. Dr. Line Alice Ytrehus, NLA University College, Norway.
114) Dr. Nina Perkowski, Hamburg University, Germany.
115) Dr. Jennifer Hyndman, Centre for Refugee Studies, York University, Canada.
116) Dr. Omer Ozcan, Center for Refugee Studies, York University, Canada.
117) Professor Sandra Lavenex, University of Geneva, Switzerland.
118) Professor Hélène Lambert, University of Wollongong, Australia.
119) Ms. Maria Bexelius,Uppsala University, Sweden.
120) Ms. Catriona Jarvis, retired judge, Last Rights Project, United Kingdom
121) Mr. Syd Bolton,solicitor, Last Rights Project, United Kingdom
122) Professor Francois Crepeau, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.
123) Mr. William Payne, York University, Toronto, Canada.
124) Dr. Efthymios Papastavridis, University of Oxford,UK
125) Dr. Constantin Hruschka, Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy, Munich, Germany.
126) Ms. Lena Riemer, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany.
127) Professor Dr. Dorothee Frings, Hochschule Niederrhein, Germany.
128) Dr. Daniel Ghezelbash, Macquarie University, Australia.
129) Dr. Chiara Marchetti, University of Milan, Italy.
130) Ms Eline Hansen, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
131) Dr. Natascha Zaun, London School of Economics, UK.
132) Prof. Dr. Constanze Janda, German University of Administrative Sciences Speyer, Germany.
133) Mr. Marco Fantinato, PhD candidate at the University La Sapienza, Rome, Italy.
134) Dr. Evelien Brouwer, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
135) Dr. Leila Giannetto, International and European Forum on Migration Research - FIERI, Turin, Italy.
136) Ms Annick Pijnenburg, Tilburg University, the Netherlands.
137) Mag. Julia Kienast, University of Vienna, Austria.
138) Ms. Pauline Endres de Oliveira, Justus Liebig University Gießen, Germany.
139) Prof. Dr. Astrid Wallrabenstein, Goethe University Frankfurt/Main, Germany.
140) Professor Francesca Curi, Università di Bologna, Italy.
141) Rechtsanwalt Ulrich Stege, International University College of Turin, Italy.
142) Prof. Dr. Florian Trauner, Free University of Brussels, Belgium.
143) Prof. Cristina Blasi Casagran, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain.
144) Mag.a Antonia Wagner, University of Economics Vienna, Austria.
145) Mag.a Helene Grill, University of Vienna, Austria.
146) Ms Elisabeth Kath, University of Innsbruck, Austria.
147) Ms Evelien Wauters, KU Leuven, Belgium.
148) Ms Nicolette Busuttil, Queen Mary University of London, UK.
149) Ms Leonie Zeißler, German University of Administrative Sc. Speyer, Germany.
150) Mr. Lorenz Neuberger, Universität Konstanz, Germany.
151) Dr. Sebastian Eickenjäger, Universität Bremen, Germany.
152) Dr. Linnet Taylor, TILT, Tilburg University, The Netherlands.
153) Ms. Ceren Mutus Toprakseven, Queen Mary University of London, UK.
154) Dr. Salvador Tomás, University of Murcia, Spain.
155) Dr. Rafael Castillo, University of Murcia, Spain.
156) Dr. Fran Meissner, TU Delft, The Netherlands.
157) Professor Michael Collyer, University of Sussex, UK.
158) Dr. Gaia Testore, International and European Forum on Migration Research - FIERI, Turin, Italy.
159) Dr. Giacomo Orsini, Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium.
160) Dr. Claudia Jiménez, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, Spain.
161) Professor Lúcio Sousa, Universidade Aberta, Portugal.
162) Prof. Dr. Line Alice Ytrehus, NLA University College, Norway.
163) Ms. Kristina Wejstål, PhD candidate, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
164) Professor Laura Merla, UCLouvain, Belgium.
165) Prof. Dr. Paola Bonizzoni, University of Milan, Italy.
166) Ms. Elena Giacomelli, PhD candidate, University of Bologna, Italy.
167) Dr. Eugenia Relano Pastor, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Germany.