The European Parliament today backed the Kyenge report on a holistic approach to migration in the EU. The report outlines a strong progressive vision of what a new migration policy for Europe should look like.
The co-author of the report, S&D MEP Cécile Kyenge, said:
"The refugee crisis has shown that the current EU approach to migration is not sustainable. We need to have a complete overhaul to create a system that is fit for the 21st Century. This report outlines the European Parliament's vision of what that is.
"Over the last few years thousands of people have drowned in the Mediterranean trying to reach Europe's shores. These deaths are a stain on our conscience. We are calling for permanent, robust and effective search and rescue operations at sea to prevent more meaningless loss of life.
"This immediate response must be combined with a wider overhaul of managing asylum applications in the EU. This means replacing the Dublin system - under which refugees must apply for asylum in the first EU country they reach - with a centralised European system that allocates refugees in a fair and transparent way. A similar approach must also be taken with refugees already in Europe, with a compulsory relocation system, which allocates refugees between different member states, so that the responsibility is shared in a fair manner. This will be supported by ensuring the mutual recognition of positive asylum decisions by all member states."
S&D Group spokesperson for civil liberties, justice and home affairs, Birgit Sippel, added:
"The purpose of this report is to highlight that we need a well-rounded approach to migration and not one based simply on keeping people out. Too much of the focus in recent months has been on the security elements and too little on tackling the root causes that are causing mass migration in the first place. We cannot accept that funding promised for development aid or to support third countries is now being diverted to beef up border security. This is a short-term approach which is just building up bigger problems for the future."
"In the longer term we need to ensure that there are clear legal routes into Europe - both for those in need of protection and for those that have skills needed in the EU labour market. The report calls for the creation of humanitarian visas, which would allow the holder to travel directly to the country where they wish to claim asylum. This approach would help manage the flow of refugees coming to the EU and would reduce the demand for services offered by parasitic people smugglers. Alongside action to tackle the refugee crisis, we also call for the EU to establish more general rules governing the entry and residence of third country nationals seeking employment in the Union to fill gaps in the EU labour market. This could boost the European economy and show the benefits migration brings to the EU."