Hamburg - In view of Germany’s announcement that it would no longer take part with naval vessels in the Mediterranean Sea mission “Sophia” organised by the European Union until further notice, the German Shipowners’ Association (VDR) calls upon the EU to find a solution to the protracted dispute on how to cope with boat refugees.
“We greatly regret the decision taken by the federal government,” said Ralf Nagel, Chief Executive Officer of the German Shipowners’ Association. “On the one hand, it is understandable that the German navy wants to withdraw for the time being in view of the deployment situation. On the other, however, if naval vessels no longer carry out any rescue missions because they cannot safely discharge the refugees rescued, how on earth are crews and vessels of the merchant navy expected to cope?”
According to Nagel, “the EU must finally take action now. Europe must not be allowed to remain paralysed by such an important issue in humane and political terms, otherwise we will fall back to the clearly untenable conditions for refugees and seafarers that prevailed in previous years. After all, the extremely dangerous migration across the Mediterranean Sea will not cease simply because of the dispute raging in Europe.”