S&Ds: We must ensure basic protection for asylum seekers who arrive in EU

following Lampedusa and Ceuta tragedies

Today the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee backed a report calling for a guaranteed minimum level of reception conditions for asylum seekers arriving in the EU. 

S&D Group spokesperson for the report, Kati Piri, said:

“We welcome that this report marks a shift from the Commission’s previous punitive approach to applicants who move to another EU Member State, instead focusing on giving incentives for applicants to remain in the country where they first applied for asylum.

“We are also pleased to see that the parliament has agreed with us that it is essential that minors are not placed in detention at any stage of the asylum process. Secondly, that asylum seekers should receive adequate legal assistance and representation. Lastly, that they should be able to access the labour market within two months of their application. This is important to encourage applicants to integrate and to remain in the Member State whilst their application is being dealt with.”

S&D Group vice-president, Tanja Fajon, said:

“The asylum seekers that have made their way to Europe are amongst the most vulnerable people on earth. These people have risked everything in search of a safer life for themselves and their families. It is unthinkable that they should come all this way only to find themselves forced into inhumane or dangerous conditions.

"We cannot see a repetition of what happened in Hungary - where asylum seekers braved the long and perilous journey, only to find themselves criminalised and trapped in container villages secured with razor wire. We need minimum standards of reception wherever asylum seekers arrive in Europe.”