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Malmström must formally request activation of Directive 55 to help thousands of refugees in Lampedusa

Date

05 Apr 2011

Sections

Social Europe & Jobs

Calling on Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmström to waste no more time before formally requesting to Council the activation of Directive 55 to help refugees on the Italian island of Lampedusa, GUE/NGL MEP Rui Tavares said the ongoing EU hypocrisy on the issue must be put to bed.

"The Commissioner has expressed support for the idea but a rapid follow up is now urgent" he said. Article 5 of Directive 55/2001 enables the granting of temporary international protection orders in cases of large influxes of people into the EU. This would ensure immediate protection for vulnerable people while files are being processed at the Lampedusa detention centre.

"The argument that there is a lack of resources is utter nonsense. In 2009 several EU countries made 343 million euro in arms sales to Gaddafi while the initial EU aid over recent weeks to help the refugees was only 3 million - less than one hundredth of the profits from weapons sales. This difference says it all. Meanwhile, refugees in Lampedusa are being received in inhumane conditions."

Depending on the reaction of the Commission, the GUE/NGL will continue to press both institutions on Directive 55 at the next plenary session.

On the issue of resettlement of refugees, Tavares welcomed Malmström's recognition of the need for Council to finish the co-decision procedure on the creation of an EU resettlement programme and the implementation of changes to the European Fund for Refugees. The MEP's legislative reports on these issues were strongly backed by Parliament last year.

 
GUE/NGL Press Contact:
David Lundy 0032485505812
david.lundy@europarl.europa.eu
European United Left / Nordic Green Left
European Parliamentary Group
www.guengl.eu

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