Gianni Pittella on migration: "Failure to agree on relocation of 40,000 refugees is farcical"

 Triton, the new Frontex mission in the Mediterranean. migration

Gianni Pittella, the President of the S&D Group in the European Parliament, has labelled the failure of Member States to agree how to relocate 40,000 refugees across Europe as 'farcical.' 

Speaking after the meeting of Europe's Justice and Home Affair Ministers today, he said:

"The fact that Member States have failed to reach an agreement on the relocation of just 40,000 refugees after five months is ludicrous. The amount of time and political energy that is being wasted on this issue is frankly farcical. While certain EU Member States bicker over whether to take 250 or 500 refugees, Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan have taken over 3.5 million. This is both a testament to these countries' humanity and solidarity and an indictment of Europe's lack of either. How can we still claim humanitarian leadership in the world in the face of such numbers?"

"Without a permanent mechanism in place to respond to the increased number of refugees this farce will continue. Selfish national governments must stop seeing refugees as a means to score political points rather than as human beings in need of our protection."

"The last few months have shown that the Dublin system is no longer fit for purpose. Individual Member States cannot deal with the increased numbers of migrants alone; we must show more solidarity between ourselves and create a truly European asylum system. Regardless of the continued selfishness of some national governments, the Commission must put forward proposals for a permanent mechanism before the end of the year. Until this is in place, we will continue to waste time and energy arguing when we should be saving lives."