S&D Group meets national parliamentarians to build cooperation on the refugee crisis
Europe needs a clear and unified response from the progressive family to tackle the migration and refugees crisis. This was the idea behind an extraordinary group meeting of the S&D Group today, in which representatives from progressive groups in national parliaments joined MEPs to discuss the ongoing crisis. The meeting helped build bridges between European and national politicians and sets the basis for closer cooperation in the future, including bi-annual meetings chaired by the president of the S&D Group.
Opening the debate, the leader of the Socialists and Democrats, Gianni Pittella, said:
"The refugee crisis has shown us that we are stronger when we talk with a unified voice within our political family. To do this we must work more closely with our colleagues in national parliaments, to ensure we are both coordinated and effective. We must address our citizens' concerns and fears about the crisis but must do so together. What we cannot do is allow ourselves to gain cheap points playing on xenophobic fears or tolerating racism - there is no place for this in a social democracy.
"The European Parliament and, in particular the Socialists and Democrats Group, has been pushing for long term solutions to the challenges that we face. Solidarity, fair share burden sharing and respect for fundamental rights have been the basis for this and have guided all our discussions with the Commission. Today we shared this vision with national parliaments - of the need for a holistic long-term approach to migration based on a permanent and compulsory mechanism of redistribution, a clear revision of the Dublin Regulation and the creation of legal avenues for refugees to safely reach our shores."
Note to editors
The full list of participants from national parliaments can be found here