Speaking in a plenary debate on how the EU should tackle the flow of Syrian refugees, GUE/NGL Gabi Zimmer described yesterday's meeting of EU interior ministers as “shameful for the EU “.

“If there is no change in EU asylum policy then EU interior ministers are complicit in the deaths of refugees,” she said. “If we don't do something to deal with this humanitarian catastrophe we are burying our heads in the sand. More solidarity is necessary now.”

“We must do something tangible and we need to change how asylum policy is structured. Member states also need to avail of the legal instruments that already exist.”

She continued: “If you look at how many of these so-called 'illegal immigrants' per million EU habitants are being taken in the numbers are really minuscule. All this talk about solidarity is meaningless if we don't open our eyes and offer assistance, in Syria and elsewhere.”

Making reference to last week's tragedy off Lampedusa where 130 migrants died and hundreds remain missing, Zimmer said: “This horrific incident only further highlights the horrors the tens of thousands of migrants trying to reach the EU are faced with. We must do everything possible to save the lives of people in danger.”

GUE/NGL Press Contacts:
Emily Macintosh +32 470 85 05 08
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20
European United Left / Nordic Green Left
European Parliamentary Group

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