GUE/NGL MEPs called on the EU leadership to face up to its responsibilities and find solutions for the influx of refugees and asylum-seekers.

This took place during this afternoon's debate in the European Parliament on the conclusions of Monday's Council meeting of EU justice and home affairs ministers on migration.

Italian GUE/NGL MEP Barbara Spinelli called the Council conclusions “indecent”.  She said: “A majority of member states backs the Commission proposal* to relocate 120,000 refugees from Hungary, Greece and Italy but is letting some countries throw a spanner in the works. Relocation has only been agreed in principle and is not binding or permanent in nature. Europe talks about values, but forgets that we are talking about rights and laws.”

For Greek GUE/NGL MEP Dimitris Papadimoulis: “We have a humanitarian crisis of refugees and we need an EU-wide humanitarian response. We need real leaders and for these leaders to stop hiding behind their ministers. It is inhumane for Europe to be absent and to build walls when a handful of right-wing and extreme right-wing governments are blocking the necessary decisions. The EU needs to be a trailblazer.”

Irish MEP Martina Anderson said: “The humanitarian crisis at Europe's borders is mainly of Europe's making. The obscene and unnecessary military interventions in the Middle East and North Africa have ignited conflicts in the region, displacing millions. Whilst the vast majority of those seek refuge in neighbouring countries, some seek to join their families in Europe.”

She continued: “The failure of the Council on migration to provide safe and legal access to refugees fleeing the horrors of war is shameful. We need to ensure that all countries do their fair share to solve this crisis. We must ensure that these people become part of the social fabric of our societies and not be discarded; we must activate the temporary protection directive and suspend the Dublin regulation that forces refugees and asylum seekers to register in the country where they land. The European focus on keeping them out – instead of keeping them safe – has resulted in thousands drowning in the Mediterranean. Europe's leaders should hang their heads in shame!”

*GUE/NGL MEPs will support the new Commission proposal for the relocation of 120 000 applicants for international protection from Italy, Greece and Hungary to other member states to be voted tomorrow morning in plenary.


GUE/NGL Press Contact:

Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20

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