"By using migrants as weapons, Lukashenko is engaging in an organised hybrid attack against the EU. We cannot tolerate state-sponsored smuggling of migrants into the EU. The ongoing crisis at the EU external border with Belarus points to the urgency of reforming European migration laws to prevent irregular migration and tackle human trafficking. The EPP Group expects Member States to take responsibility and move towards a compromise on a common European asylum system, by qualified majority if necessary", urged Jeroen Lenaers MEP, EPP Group Spokesman on Home Affairs, and Tomas Tobé MEP, Parliament negotiator for the Regulation on Asylum and Migration Management.
The statement came today ahead of the Commission’s adoption of a Report on the State of Play on Migration in the EU and an Action Plan against Migrant Smuggling.
"It is unacceptable that we have a situation where it is cynical human traffickers who decide who can apply for asylum in Europe, putting vulnerable people's lives at risk while doing so. We welcome the Commission’s action plan on curbing migrant trafficking. We need strong border control and cooperation with third countries to fight smuggling networks. Quick screening to distinguish between refugees and economic migrants. Fair and swift procedures to help those in need and the efficient return of those not granted to stay. Most importantly, we need solidarity among Member States to tackle this together. It is high time for Member States to finally deliver on the Migration Pact", said Lenaers.
"It is clear that we need to reform the European migration policies to prevent irregular migration to the Member States. We need to work closer with countries of origin and transit to address the causes and drivers of migration. By reducing the numbers of irregular migrants, we will ensure an asylum and migration management that is sustainable over time to handle future crises", concluded Tobé.
Note to editors
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 179 Members from all EU Member States