Kirkhope: Commission proposals on resettlement will not fix migrant crisis

27-May-2015 @ 17:45

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Timothy Kirkhope MEP, ECR Home Affairs Spokesman, has warned that plans to relocate 40,000 asylum seekers from Italy and Greece to other EU countries will not help to tackle the source of Europe's migration crisis.

The European Commission has announced proposals to relocate Syrian and Eritrean asylum seekers to 23 of the 28 EU countries, with each country receiving 6,000 Euros for each migrant they take in.

The UK, Denmark and Ireland will not take part in the scheme, which still needs to be endorsed by national governments and MEPs.

Mr Kirkhope said today: More than 80,000 people have arrived in Europe so far this year, and 1,820 other migrants have died or gone missing in the process. Those are shocking statistics, and we must do all we can to prevent individuals from making the perilous journey across the Mediterranean.

"Once again, by offering 40,000 relocation places, the European Commission is showing that they have resigned themselves to dealing with the symptoms rather than cause.

"The plan is for the relocation to last for two years, but what happens after those two years? Italy has seen a 277% increase in the number of irregular border crossings in 2014 compared with the previous year; whilst there is political unrest and war in North Africa and the middle east, the numbers arriving in
Europe are not going to reduce unless we tackle the problem at the source.

"Whilst individual Member States should be encouraged to offer more assistance, the European Commission should be looking for long term solutions.

"EU resources, funding and action should be looking at how to assist frontline receiving Member States in the processing and returns of asylum seekers, and how to help integrate those granted asylum. The EU should also be looking at how to tackle criminal groups in third countries as well as making sure that FRONTEX has the resources it needs to save lives at sea. Most importantly the commission needs to address how to stop trafficked vessels from setting sail in the first place by helping to create stability and safety in these war-torn countries."


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