Spanish MEP, Lola Sánchez Caldentey, told the plenary: “The international response to the war in Syria has been, and still is, nefarious. It seems that nobody is interested in ending this slaughter. And the worst consequences always fall on the most vulnerable: children.”

“Lebanon, a country which can provide lessons for us in compliance with international law regarding refugees, grants the right to education to Syrian boys and girls. However, the support provided by the European Commission and member states for the education of refugees is very poor.

“The reason is not a lack of resources, it is a matter of priorities. We have given 7 billion euros to Turkey to do the dirty work, but we are not able to guarantee the human right to a quality public education to refugees by providing financial support to countries like Lebanon, for example.

“There are two ways of responding to the immigration crisis: either fences and external border controls, or searching for a dignified and safe future in the conflict zones.

“If we do not guarantee a future to children suffering as a result of war, then we are paving the way for fascism, hatred and fear.”

Spanish MEP, Javier Couso, added: “Syrian children in Lebanon have fled from a war which has destabilised their country, and in which the EU and many of its allies are actually involved in funding extremist groups that are perpetrating terrorism.”

“Syria had a solid education system, with 100 per cent of children attending primary school and 70 per cent attending secondary school.

“Lebanon, a country which is so small with only 6 million people, has hosted many many Syrian refugees. Its a country which does not have economic stability, and yet 70 per cent of Syrian refugee children between 6 and 11 years are in school.

“Our approach is shameful. We should be investing much more. We should be supporting education, and supporting a peace process and the legitimate Syrian government which can produce peace and bring the Syrian children back to their schools.”


GUE/NGL Press Contact:

Nikki Sullings  +32 22 83 27 60 / +32 483 03 55 75

Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20

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