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Libya: The humanitarian crises could result in a wave of migrants. Vito Bonsignore MEP


04 Mar 2011


Global Europe

"The EPP Group backs the call made by six EU Mediterranean Member States to create a solidarity fund to help mitigate migration effects as the dramatic events continue to unfold on our doorstep in North Africa," declared Vito Bonsignore MEP, Vice-Chairman of the EPP Group.

Mr Bonsignore was addressing the 7th plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean, in Rome.

Some estimates say the political upheavals in North Africa could bring to the EU's southern coast about 300,000 refugees. Within this context, the EPP Group is in favour of the setting up of a common European asylum system and is clearly in favour of a just sharing of migration costs. The Italian authorities expect a massive exodus of migrants crossing the sea and heading to the north. Malta and Italy are facing a bleak predicament if they are left to their own devices. "This can not be underestimated," stated Mr Bonsignore. "The European Commission must have by now a contingency plan to address a worst case scenario where a massive group of migrants decide to head north to the European shores. The solidarity principle between northern and southern EU Member States must underpin such a plan.

"We expect migration issues to remain at the top of the European agenda for the months ahead. We are confident that the extraordinary EU Summit meeting scheduled for March 11th, in Brussels, will take the right decisions, both for the peoples of North Africa and for the EU Member States surrounding the southern rim of the Mediterranean," concluded the Vice-Chairman of the EPP Group.

For further information:
Vito BONSIGNORE MEP, Tel: +32-2-2845382
David Stellini, EPP Group Press & Communications Service, Tel: +32-473-541926
Francesco Frapiccini, EPP Group Press & Communications Service, Tel: +32-473-541724