"Migrant emergency caused by the lack of a common EU policy", says EP rapporteur and S&D MEP Cécile Kyenge
Today in Brussels, the European Parliament rapporteur on migration, Italian socialist Cécile Kyenge MEP, called on the European Commission and member states to step up their efforts on migration, as some 5,629 migrants were rescued from the Mediterranean in the last week and the number of asylum requests surged to 650,000 in 2014.
Speaking out against the EU's lack of solidarity on the issue, Kyenge said:
"We are hearing more and more about the crisis and the fact that migration is increasing. Is the arrival of 250,000 migrants to a continent of half billion people really a crisis? I think not. The crisis is the 3,500people who have died in the Mediterranean Sea. A Union of 28 states and half a billion people must have the capacity to cope with the current situation.
"If the arrival of a few thousand migrants turns into an emergency, that is because the EU's 28 member states still do not have a common vision and strategy on migration.
"We cannot allow the burden to continue to fall on the same 5-6 member states. Reception centres can't cope anymore. Mare nostrum, Italy's sea patrolling operation carried out by a single member state, saved 150,000 people in one year. Paradoxically, the EU joint operation meant to take over Mare Nostrum, Triton, is not having anywhere near the same level of success".