With home affairs ministers meeting today via videoconference, the S&D Group in the European Parliament calls for Council’s position on the new Pact on Migration and Asylum to refocus on solidarity, and for discussions to be based on the facts.
Birgit Sippel MEP, S&D spokesperson on civil liberties, justice and home affairs and rapporteur on the screening regulation in the new pact, said:
“We have been following the Council discussions on the New Pact on Migration and Asylum and alarm bells are ringing. The Council is focusing too much on further restrictive measures while turning its back on vulnerable people seeking protection. Solidarity is as much about finding ways to support vulnerable people as it is about supporting member states. The right of the individual to asylum, with a comprehensive assessment, must remain a cornerstone of any future asylum system in the EU. Each claim needs to be considered in its own right because it is simply not feasible to say at first sight whether or not a person’s claim should be accepted. In the same vein, nobody in the asylum procedure should find ever themselves detained only on the basis of their nationality or for the sole reason that they are an applicant. Any discussions between ministers along these lines will not win support among the Socialists and Democrats.
“The Council also needs to reconsider the important role that legal migration has to play in effective migration reform. In the European Parliament we are working to make a strong case for new legal pathways for labour migration at all levels and we want to see the Commission come forward with legislative proposals next year.”
Juan Fernando López Aguilar MEP, S&D chair of the civil liberties, justice and home affairs committee and rapporteur on the crisis instrument in the new pact, said:
“From the very beginning we have championed a new pact that delivers binding solidarity and shared responses that are consistent with both EU and international law. We have an opportunity to give frontline member states, and search and rescue operations, the real support they need with a permanent mandatory relocation mechanism to rely on. In crisis situations, we support a dedicated solidarity mechanism that is triggered by clearly defined parameters and that results in substantial support being given. To avoid us repeating the mistakes of the past, the new pact needs to embed relocation as the primary and most significant act of solidarity that member states take up.
“There will be constant discussions on the new pact in the coming months, but this debate must be fully informed and based on facts. In particular, we must counter false narratives that depict migration as a threat to provoke fear and hostility. Our message to the Council is that member states need to work together to handle the challenges in migration, but not by giving up on the EU’s fundamental principles and values.”