Pittella: S&D Group were the first to ask for a revised Dublin Regulation but EU Commission's proposal must be improved
After the adoption of the revised Dublin regulations and the visa free regime with Turkey by the college of EU commissioners, the president of the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament, Gianni Pittella, stated:
"We strongly asked for a revision of Dublin and finally the EU Commission has come up with a proposal. We will fight to improve it in the parliamentary process as it still doesn't fully live up to our expectations. We welcome the acknowledgement of the need to introduce sanctions to those countries unwilling to show solidarity, but we need clear guarantees that these sanctions will be duly imposed. To us it is clear: solidarity must be binding or it is simply charity.
"Still some major points of concern remain open: the whole burden of the hosting and registration of migrants lies on the shoulders of the countries they first set foot in. Furthermore, despite the too many shameful tragedies in Idomeni, Lesbos and Lampedusa, the current ineffective system has not been completely replaced by an automatic and truly European mechanism. The newly proposed system should in fact not be triggered just in emergency cases.
"As far as the visa liberalisation for Turkey is concerned, we don't oppose it as a matter of principle but we firmly demand that Turkey firstly upholds our principles and all required benchmarks. No possible discount or fast track to Turkey will be accepted and we guarantee that S&D will closely assess in the European Parliament the total fulfilment by Ankara of its obligations.
"It must be also clear that the same solidarity and political engagement delivered towards the Balkan routes must now be equally dedicated towards the African routes. Therefore, we urge the EU Commission to present a concrete and financially-sustainable proposal by the June European Council, using the guidelines of the Migration Compact to set up a real European long term strategy on Africa.
"During the debate with experts at today's conference on the 'End of Dublin', our political Group will make clear the commitment for a harmonisation and Europeanisation of the asylum procedures towards a real solidarity sharing system between member states which would become a unified and effective Common European Asylum system."
"End of Dublin: Towards Genuine Solidarity and Full Integration of Refugees" conference can be followed live via web-stream here