GUE/NGL MEPs call for more urgent action from the EU to resettle refugees in Europe

During today's debate in the European Parliament on the humanitarian situation of refugees within the EU and neighbouring countries, GUE/NGL MEPs called on the European Union to take further action urgently to support refugees to resettle in Europe.

The debate surrounded the conclusions of the informal European Council on 23 September when member state governments agreed to increase funding and support to EU countries looking after the Union's external borders, as well as to neighbouring countries and agencies dealing with Syrian refugees.

Portuguese MEP, Marisa Matias, stated: “People being numbered on their way into EU countries; people being put on trains then abandoned without even knowing where they are; people being put into old concentration camps… This is the situation of refugees in the European Union.”

Basque MEP, Josu Juaristi, remarked that “We are witnessing a calculated exercise by the Council in which Europe is presented as a victim to justify closing our external borders.” He explained that “We're talking about 0.1 percent of the population of Europe; that's all. Some member states are buying into the fear mongering of the far right and using that to undermine civil rights and freedoms.”

Greek MEP, Nikolaos Chountis, stated: “The way we've managed the refugee crisis in the EU to date is hypocritical. We are still maintaining the conditions that have turned the Mediterranean into a floating burial ground. We need to open reception centres and guarantee the right of refugees to safety.”

Italian MEP, Eleonora Forenza, stated that what Europe has done so far “is a mere gesture. It's now time to move towards a real humanitarian response.”

French MEP, Patrick Le Hyaric, stated: “It is the duty of the EU to support refugees and to make funds available for their schooling, housing and employment. We need to see that historically refugees are not a burden, they are a cultural and economic resource.”

GUE/NGL Press Contacts:
Nikki Sullings  +32 22 83 27 60 / +32 483 03 55 75
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20