MEPs back €400 million for immediate measures to respond to refugee crisis
The European Parliament today voted in favour of making €400 million available to respond to the ongoing refugee crisis in 2015 and broadly backed S&D MEP Eider Gardiazabal's report on the subject.
Eider Gardiazabal, S&D spokesperson for the budget committee and rapporteur for the European Parliament for the 2015 Budget, said:
"Last month, national leaders finally took action and agreed to the relocation of 160,000 refugees. We welcomed this agreement, however if we are to handle current refugee crisis in an efficient and effective way then we need to have the money to finance further action immediately. Today the Parliament has backed our report to amend the 2015 budget to make €401.3 million available to respond to the crisis this year.
"This includes €100 million to enhance solidarity and responsibility sharing among member states to handle the large number of incoming refugees. A further €300 million will help fund neighbouring countries tackle the crisis in a more efficient and humane way. Lastly €1.3 million will be made available to increase the staffing levels at the agencies working on the front line (Frontex, the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) and Europol).
"In parallel to these increases, €55.7 million in payment appropriations have been secured for humanitarian aid to ensure immediate help for refugees in need.
"The current handling of the crisis by national governments has been wholly inadequate, leading to chaotic scenes and fuelling fears among European citizens about our ability to cope with the number of refugees arriving. We must be clear with these citizens - we do have the capacity to deal with this crisis. We have shown today that we have the political will and the resources needed to respond. Now national governments must show the same urgency and use these resources to improve the situation on the ground."