“We must act collectively, determinedly and urgently”, said Roberta Metsola MEP, EPP Group Spokeswoman on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs. The EPP Group is calling on Member States to seize the opportunity to share responsibility fairly and show meaningful solidarity under new Migration and Asylum Pact proposals published by the European Commission today.
“These wide-ranging migration reforms are a good starting point for a European approach to ensuring strong borders, fair and swift asylum procedures, an efficient and safe return of those not eligible for protection, and a sustainable system to be better prepared to handle a crisis”, said Metsola, who is urging Member States to be constructive and adopt a negotiating mandate on the package of new migration laws as soon as possible.
“Three year-old Alan Kurdi drowned five years ago. In October, we will mark seven years since 359 souls perished in a boat off Lampedusa. We can’t wait any longer. Action is urgently needed.”
Metsola welcomed the inclusion of several key EPP Group priorities in the new Pact on Migration and Asylum. For example, a more effective return policy for the large proportion of those people on European territory who are not eligible for protection. Without an effective return policy, we risk diverting resources needed by people genuinely in need of protection.
"We must be fair with those in need of protection, firm with those who are not eligible and harsh with the traffickers exploiting the vulnerable”, explained Metsola.
The EPP Group has also welcomed the strong emphasis placed on the need for each Member State to play its part through significant, tangible contributions of meaningful solidarity - another core priority for the Group.
“Now, we need to work to finalise an agreement on these proposals for a stronger, more efficient EU migration policy that is grounded in solidarity, able to withstand possible future crises and alleviate pressure on frontline Member States. This must be a turning point in how the EU deals with migration”, Metsola concluded.
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 187 Members from all EU Member States