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Comprehensive action plan for sustainable solution on migration adopted, say S&Ds


29 Jun 2016


Global Europe

Following the conclusions adopted by the European Council on migration, the S&D Group in the European Parliament welcomes the proposal to manage migration while promoting development and human rights in Africa. However, it underlines once again the need for member states to be concretely focused and united towards a global and sustainable solution.

Knut Fleckenstein, vice-president of the Group responsible for foreign policy and Eastern partnership, said:
"We need to both manage the migration flows, and fight their root causes. Therefore we have to proceed with determination to face the major challenges the EU is confronted with. The S&D Group welcomes the leadership shown by the Italian government and subsequently the European Commission by proposing to the European Council a long term and comprehensive plan for the EU and African countries to manage together the increasing migratory flows. A fair and mutually advantageous EU-Africa deal is needed.
"The European Parliament must be in close cooperation with the European Commission in the preparation of the External Investment Plan. Therefore we welcome the new initiative from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to support regions outside of Europe that are significantly affected by the refugee crisis (southern neighbourhood and Western Balkan countries)."

S&D MEP and vice-president for foreign affairs Victor Boştinaru said:
"A long-term strategy must be coupled with immediate measures and it's time for member states to be pragmatic and united.
"Lessons have to be learnt from the recent and disputed EU-Turkey statement. While we see a significant decrease of dangerous sea crossings in the Aegean, we are worried about the respect of core human rights and stress that the goal of breaking the “smuggler business model” can only be reached if safe and legal channels are open for asylum seekers. There is an urgent need to support and cooperate further with other key partners in the Middle East and North Africa.
"The S&D Group supports the comprehensive approach of the Migration Compact in defining migration policy as interlinked with development cooperation, trade and economic cooperation, security cooperation and humanitarian aid. Only in this way can the root causes of migration be tackled and only on the basis of this approach can results be achieved."

Richard Howitt MEP, S&D Group's foreign affairs coordinator added:
"We are worried about the financial basis of the Migration Compact plans, not so much for the EU budget appropriations, but rather for the financial contributions of individual member states. If the November 2015 EU-Africa Valletta summit is anything to go by, there is every reason for concern. From the agreed 1,8 billion euro, only 81 million euro has been committed by the member states. The EU can only deliver if member states give the EU the means to do so.
"For the S&D Group EU migration policy, whether within the EU or on the basis of international cooperation, should be based on legality, solidarity and respect for human rights."