Today the Socialists and Democrats are leading a progressive majority on two resolutions which confirm that the EU’s migration and asylum policies need long-term solutions based on solidarity and respect for fundamental rights. The S&D Group is supporting the report on the Implementation of the Dublin III Regulation that calls for responsibility for asylum applications to be fairly shared across the EU member states. S&D MEPs are also backing the report on the Implementation of the Return Directive that calls for the EU’s return policy for third country nationals not to be based solely on the number of returns, but also to take into account sustainability and full respect for fundamental rights in the process.
Pietro Bartolo, S&D shadow on the Implementation of the Dublin III regulation, said:
“While Europe continues to be stuck with a common asylum system that is not fit for purpose, today we are reaffirming core principles in that system: we will always uphold the individual right to asylum. This week, the German Presidency said the recognition among EU Home Affairs Ministers that migration is a European challenge is a sign of solidarity. Unfortunately, the evidence tells us that there is a big gap between words and actions from member states. The evidence in recent years shows there continues to be an excessive burden and disproportionate responsibility on countries of first-entry because use of the system of transfers of asylum-seekers between member states has been ineffective at best. The only real solution is a long-term and predictable EU-wide solidarity mechanism based on shared responsibility and with fair rules for relocation among all member states.”
Sylvie Guillaume, shadow rapporteur on the Implementation of the Return Directive, said:
“Thanks to a progressive majority in the European Parliament, today we are sending a message that returns policy is not a numbers game. We need to measure the success of the EU’s returns policy not just on the rate of returns, but on points of sustainability and respect for procedural guarantees and making sure that fundamental rights are safeguarded. There are a number of areas where the EU’s return policy needs to be greatly improved. In recent years, the world has witnessed the appalling and inhumane conditions in some detention camps and we meant it when we said “never again!”. Detention should only ever be a last resort and never a starting point and we are very clear that minors should never be detained at any time in the procedure. We urgently need to see governments offering viable, community-based alternatives to detention that prove to have a better impact on migrants, especially vulnerable people and children, and that cost member states less.”