In the wake of recent migratory crisis, particularly in the Mediterranean, the EPP Group in the European Parliament has insisted for a stronger, more efficient EU migration policy that is grounded in solidarity. The group of centre-right MEPs argued this such policy must be able to withstand possible future crises and alleviates the pressure on frontline Member States.
“With our position paper, the EPP Group has shown that achieving agreement across Member States on this subject is possible. We now need the European Commission to table ambitious proposals and EU leaders to come to the table in a constructive way, intent on reaching agreement”, said Roberta Metsola MEP, EPP Group Spokeswoman on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, outlining the Group’s political priorities for reforming EU policy in a new position paper adopted late yesterday evening.
Ahead of the anticipated European Commission Pact on Asylum and Migration, the EPP Group is urging the EU to proactively seek a common response, including a new EU framework for responsibility sharing and balancing different forms of meaningful solidarity among Member States through a series of policy actions.
“The looming humanitarian crisis in Libya coupled with the current volatile situation at the border between Greece and Turkey highlights the persistent risk of a new migration crisis”, said Metsola.
“This is an all-encompassing position paper. We cannot focus on one area at the expense of another. EU policy must be able to protect our borders, draw differences between those seeking protection and those seeking work, break human traffickers’ business models, improve the safe return of those not eligible for protection, work to build capacity in third countries and address the root causes of migration – while ensuring pathways to legal migration for those Member States with gaps in their labour markets – and integration measures for those migrants remaining legally on EU territory”, she explained.
In a nutshell, the Group underlines the need to be “fair with those in need of protection, firm with those who are not eligible and harsh with the traffickers exploiting the vulnerable”, according to Metsola.
“A crisis-resistant EU asylum and migration policy and Schengen system are essential prerequisites for our common European future, as is maintaining the freedom of movement by upholding secure and effective external border controls”, she added.