Pittella on migration: EU governments should put aside short-term political calculations

Pittella on migration: EU governments should put aside short-term political calculations, immigration, asylum, pittella, EU Commission, president Juncker, vice-president Frans Timmermans, high representative, Federica Mogherini, and commissioner Dimitris

The S&D Group president, Gianni Pittella, urged member states to take up their responsibility to the EU Commission proposal on migration, putting aside any kind of short-term political calculations.

The S&D Group president stated:

"Europe is ready to take up the challenge of a common migration policy based on solidarity. European citizens are ready. Now it is up to the European national governments to demonstrate that they can be forward-looking. We cannot tolerate tackling this humanitarian crisis with the vile approach of daily routine, with petty political self-interest.

"After the Lampedusa tragedy, after the death of thousands of human beings, all of us wondered: where is Europe? The European Commission, thanks to the great job being done by president Juncker, vice-president Frans Timmermans, high representative, Federica Mogherini, and commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos, showed that it's ready and has the courage required to deal with this turning point.  In the European Parliament, the whole of the S&D Group, showed that it's also ready and has the courage to act. Now, all of us are wondering: national governments, where are you? Be ready, be courageous and put aside your short-term political calculations.

"The EU Commission proposal has taken a step forward on the way to creating a common European policy on migration, based on a mix of urgent short-term actions and a long-term plan, to tackle the roots of the problems in Africa and Libya, not by a military intervention but through an international police action. We need safe and legal channels to avoid migrants falling into the hands of people smugglers.

"The binding distribution quotas of asylum seekers, as well as the proposal for a binding mechanism concerning the relocation programmes, is crucial for us. This must become permanent. Either solidarity is compulsory, or it's merely charity! The Dublin regulation is anachronistic and ineffective. It must be revised. We acknowledge that European society needs to address its existing skills gap.

"The introduction of the Hotspot approach is a major change. Individual member states will no longer be left to fend for themselves.

"These are genuine deeds, not just words. Let's turn them into reality."