|Printable version||E-mail this to a friend|
Refugees: MEPs want Dublin rule changes, humanitarian visas and global strategy
Welcoming the European Commission's new proposals to deal with the unprecedented influx of migrants and refugees, MEPs declared themselves ready to work on draft laws to set up a solid migration and asylum policy for the future in a resolution voted on Thursday.
Relocation. Having backed an emergency proposal the day before for relocating 40,000 asylum seekers among EU countries, MEPs welcomed a fresh proposal for the emergency relocation of more asylum seekers from Italy, Greece and Hungary (the Commission proposes 120,000) and a permanent mechanism amending the Dublin rules, which determine which member state is responsible for processing asylum applications. MEPs want a "fair, compulsory allocation key" and the integration prospects and the specific cases and needs of asylum seekers themselves to be taken into account. Parliament declares its intention to advance its work on the draft laws "so as to ensure that member states do not delay the permanent relocation scheme".
Resettlement and humanitarian visas. Parliament also wants member states to take in refugees from third countries via a compulsory resettlement programme, and considers it "a high priority that the EU and its member states create safe and legal avenues for refugees", such as humanitarian corridors and visas. MEPs believe that it is necessary to amend the EU Visa Code by including "more specific common provisions on humanitarian visas" and ask member states to make it possible to apply for asylum at their embassies and consular offices.
Common EU list of safe countries of origin. This approach should not undermine the non-refoulement principle and the individual right to asylum, especially that of people belonging to vulnerable groups, says the resolution.
Asylum rules. MEPs call for the Common European Asylum System to be properly implemented, in order to ensure that "consistent and humane standards" are applied across the EU.
Parliament stands for "open borders within the Schengen area", while stressing the need to ensure effective management of external borders.
The root causes of migration also need to be tackled and should be the main topic at the Valletta summit (Malta) on 11-12 November. Tough criminal sanctions against human trafficking and smuggling are also needed, says the text.
International conference on the refugee crisis. Parliament calls on the Commission and on the EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini to convene an international conference on the refugee crisis, with the participation of the EU, its member states, UN-related agencies, the US, relevant international NGOs and Arab states, with the aim of establishing a common global humanitarian aid strategy.
Citizens showing true adherence to European values
Parliament praises the efforts of civil society groups and individuals all over Europe who are mobilising in large numbers to welcome and provide aid to refugees and migrants. "Such actions demonstrate true adherence to European values and are a sign of hope for the future of Europe", MEPs say.
The resolution was approved by 432 votes to 142, with 57 abstentions.
Latest News from
Robots and artificial intelligence: MEPs call for EU-wide liability rules17/02/2017 16:20:00
EU-wide rules are needed for the fast-evolving field of robotics, e.g. to enforce ethical standards or establish liability for accidents involving driverless cars, say MEPs in a resolution voted on Thursday.
Parliament sets out its vision for the future of Europe17/02/2017 15:10:00
If the EU is to boost its capacity to act, restore citizens’ trust and make the euro zone economy more resilient to outside shocks, it needs to make full use of the Lisbon Treaty. But to go further, it needs to reform itself more fundamentally. This was the key message of three resolutions exploring the future development of the European Union approved by Parliament on Thursday.
Preventing terrorism: clampdown on foreign fighters and lone wolves17/02/2017 13:10:00
To counter the growing threats from “foreign fighters” travelling to conflict zones for terrorist purposes and “lone wolves” planning solo attacks, new EU-wide rules were approved by Parliament on Thursday.
Stopping foreign fighters at EU external borders17/02/2017 12:10:00
All EU citizens and third country nationals entering or leaving the EU will be systematically checked against databases, e.g. of lost and stolen documents, under a regulation voted on Thursday. The new rules were agreed by Parliament’s negotiators and the Council of Ministers on 5 December 2016.
Human rights: Nicaragua, executions in Kuwait and Bahrain, and Guatemala17/02/2017 11:10:00
Parliament voices deep concern about the intimidation and harassment of Francesca Ramirez and other human rights defenders in Nicaragua, deplores the recent use of the death penalty in Kuwait and Bahrain, and strongly condemns the murders of human rights defenders and journalists in Guatemala, in three resolutions voted on Thursday.