EPP Suggests to EU Council Five Ways to Addressing Refugee Crisis

EU | September 23, 2015, Wednesday // 12:55|  views

Chairman of the EPP Group in the European Parliament Manfred Weber (C) speaks during the plenary session with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (unseen) at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, 08 July 2015. Photo: EPA/BGNES

In a press release to Novinite, the chairman of the EPP Group in the European Parliament, Manfred Weber, suggested five ways in which the European Council could show responsibility in addressing the refugee crisis.

Weber assured that his partly clearly distinguishes between people fleeing war, terror or political persecution and those who arrive to Europe in search of a better life .

According to EPP, the former deserve protection, while the latter, whose lives are not in danger, cannot remain in Europe.

Weber dismissed the calls of the Left and Greens for opening the labour markets of Europe to economic migrants as both illusory and wrong.

In this respect, the EPP places the priority on helping the millions of unemployed youth in Europe to find jobs rather than trying to solve the problems of Africa and other regions through massive economic migration.

The EPP highlighted the need for cooperation in Europe in solving the refugee crisis as Germany was not in the position to solve it alone.

Weber calls on the EU heads of states or government, who are scheduled to convene later on Wednesday at an extraordinary meeting of the European Council, to finally show responsibility by focusing on the following five points.

The first priority should be on stabilising the crisis regions, especially in the Middle East and considerably increasing humanitarian aid to refugees fleeing the civil war in Syria.

This would require the securing of EUR 1 B package for the neighbouring countries of Syria and an additional EUR 1 B in humanitarian aid from EU instruments.

EPP suggested that member states should also agree on a joint strategy for other crisis regions such as Afghanistan and some African regions.

Secondly, Europe should offer to the neighbouring countries of Syria fix contingents for refugees.

According to EPP, if the applications for asylum are checked in the region of origin, if refugees coming to Europe already have a humanitarian visa and if they are distributed within Europe in a fair manner this could put an end to the chaotic flow of refugees.

The third proposed measure is to step up the fight against criminal networks as member states have done little against the criminal networks of people smugglers.

EPP calls for eradicating their business by creating “hotspots” and establishing fixed distribution quotas for refugees.

This should be coupled with enhancing military and police measures, giving clear mandate to EU units to destroy the boats of smugglers and strengthening the existing Europol Task.

Fourthly, the EPP suggests that safeguarding the external borders of the EU could necessitate new securing measures, stricter control and even the construction of further fences.

Weber pointed to Hungary as being one of the few member states still trying to fulfill its duty of guarding the external borders of the EU.

In case that member states are overwhelmed and unable to fulfill their duties, Frontex should take over external border controls.

The fifth proposed step is sending back to their home countries asylum seekers who have been denied asylum.

Furthermore, EU candidate countries, such as Turkey, should be immediately considered as safe third countries.

Pakistan and relevant African countries should also be added to the list of safe third countries.

The EPP also proposes that development aid for countries of origin should be linked to their cooperation with the the EU regarding its returns policy.

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Tags: EPP, EU, Manfred Weber, European Council, refugees, Migration, smugglers, FRONTEX, Syria, Africa, humanitarian aid, quotas


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