Statement by the European Commission on the situation in the Central Mediterranean.

European Commission
Brussels, 9 November 2022

The European Commission calls for the immediate disembarkation, at the nearest place of safety, of all persons rescued and who are on board the Ocean Viking. The situation onboard the vessel has reached a critical level and needs to be urgently addressed to avoid a humanitarian tragedy. The legal obligation to rescue and to ensure the safety of life at sea is clear and unequivocal, irrespective of the circumstances that lead people to be in a situation of distress.  The Commission recalls the principle of sincere cooperation and calls on Member States to work together to ensure a common response, with the sanctity of life being of utmost importance and primary consideration. It is important to provide support to those Member States regularly receiving arrivals by sea. Based on the commonly agreed Solidarity Mechanism, a significant number of relocation places are available to help alleviate some of the pressure through relocation to other Member States. Migration management is...
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