In a plenary vote this morning on the need for a holistic approach to EU migration, MEPs have voted through a compromise resolution that is the result of harsh negotiations with the EPP group.

“The text includes some problematic paragraphs that undermine the right of asylum seekers to seek protection in Europe copied and pasted from a previous 2013 resolution on Lampedusa. We could not accept this so our group abstained,” explained GUE/NGL MEP Cornelia Ernst.

The text is Parliament's answer to the European Commission's weak response to the critical situation in the Mediterranean where increasing numbers of migrants have died on Europe's doorstep; the Commission has yet to come up with policies for safe and legal ways to enter Europe.

The German MEP said: “Several political groups, including GUE/NGL, supported the idea of Parliament playing a more proactive role to address this issue. The original idea was to have a committee of inquiry to look at asylum and migration policies in greater depth, modelled on the NSA inquiry that took place last year.

“But in exchange for the inclusion in the resolution of a paragraph calling for additional resources for the Civil Liberties committee to conduct hearings, organise ad-hoc delegations, develop a set of recommendations and produce a strategic initiative report before the end of 2015, the EPP managed to have several points included in the resolution for which our group could not vote in favour.”

MEP Ernst concluded: “Nonetheless we are satisfied that the resolution has been adopted as it should be looked at as the beginning of a year-long process that gives the Civil Liberties committee a mandate to take a more active role and make more progress in this field.”

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