Following yesterday's European Council meeting, President of the GUE/NGL group in the European Parliament, Gabi Zimmer, called for an urgent change in the direction of EU policy on refugees.

Zimmer reacted to the Council conclusions: “The Council wants to put up more walls around Fortress Europe and keep turning desperate people away from Europe by force.”

“The Council has agreed to develop an action plan with Turkey with the aim to keep refugees there, instead of allowing them into Europe.

“As winter approaches and it is becoming even more dangerous for refugees to cross the Mediterranean, we cannot wait any longer to take action. We must work with Turkey and our regional neighbours to ensure the safety of refugees, but Erdoğan wants a dirty deal in which the EU gives him funding to take in refugees, while turning a blind eye to his war on Kurdish people.

“As Europeans we have built a European Union based on a commitment to human rights, including solidarity and the right to asylum. We cannot accept a dirty deal with Turkey that could cost the lives of more Kurdish people and the liberty and independence of more journalists.

“What we need is safe and legal pathways for refugees and migrants to enter Europe, granting them international protection. Refugees should be relocated throughout Europe according to a mechanism based on solidarity and member states' economic capacities, as well as refugees' individual needs.”

“The EU must support its own member states to process individual applications for asylum according to international laws and integrate refugees into our societies.

“We cannot accept a dirty deal with Turkey. Through our negotiations and our actions we must protect the rights of refugees and call for an immediate end to Erdoğan's war on the Kurdish people,” Zimmer concluded.

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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