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Immigration influx in Lampedusa: EPP Group calls for urgent EU action. Simon Busuttil MEP, Salvatore Iacolino MEP and Mario Mauro MEP

Date

16 Feb 2011

Sections

Med & South

"The EU needs to take immediate measures to show true solidarity with Southern Member States", said Simon Busuttil MEP, EPP Group Coordinator in the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) Committee of the European Parliament, during the plenary debate on the humanitarian emergency that has been caused by the massive migratory flows from Tunisia to the Italian island of Lampedusa.

Busuttil called on Commissioner Malmström, who participated in the debate, to immediately implement a set of measures that would assist Italy. "Showing solidarity is not optional. It is required by the Treaty", the EPP Group LIBE Spokesman insisted, referring to Article 80 of the Lisbon Treaty. Busuttil called for the urgent deployment of a Frontex rapid border intervention mission to assist the Italian authorities manage the vast amounts of people crossing over onto European territory.

"The real emergency is not immigration, that's just a consequence", Mario Mauro MEP, Head of the Italian (PDL) Delegation of the EPP Group, explained. "The real emergency is the epochal upheaval that is completely destabilising the Maghreb area."

Busuttil called on the Commission to prepare and enact a 'Marshall Plan' for Tunisia and Egypt. "Such a comprehensive plan would show Tunisians and Egyptians that the EU is there to support them and in return they would be expected to cooperate on the issue of irregular flows of immigration."

Mario Mauro continued: "In 1989, we mobilised for Eastern Europe. We must do the same for the Mediterranean. Lampedusa is not only the southern border of Italy, but it is the southern border of the European Union."

Salvatore Iacolino MEP, Vice-Chairman of the LIBE Committee, called for flexibility and solidarity from the European Commission. The revision of Frontex - currently a work-in-progress of the European Parliament's LIBE Committee - should enhance Frontex powers and turn it into an effective operational instrument capable of managing migration flows. Iacolino also expressed hope that a revised Frontex would conduct repatriation of illegal migrants without unnecessary delays.

For further information:
Simon BUSUTTIL MEP, Tel: +33-3-88175686
Salvatore IACOLINO MEP, Tel: +33-3-88175193
Mario MAURO MEP, Tel: +33-3-88175387
Francesco Frapiccini, EPP Group Press & Communications Service, Tel: +32-473-941652

Notes to Editors:
The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 265 Members.

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