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No watering down of the rules on visa liberalisation

Date

04 May 2016

Sections

Europe's East
Justice & Home Affairs

“There must be no watering down of the rules on visa liberalisation for Turkey and thus it is hard to understand why the Commission is now proposing visa liberalisation despite Turkey not meeting all the criteria”, said Manfred Weber MEP, Chairman of the EPP Group in the European Parliament, commenting on the European Commission's proposals on visa liberalisation for Turkey.

“The European Parliament is independent and obliged to the citizens of Europe only”, continued Weber. The EPP Group will assume a monitoring function of the process. “We will take all the time we need for a thoroughly detailed examination and discussion of the visa liberalisation issue. The European Parliament should vote on visa liberalisation only if Turkey meets all the criteria and after the EU Ministers for Interior Affairs have thoroughly reviewed the situation. It is very positive that the European Commission, after our insistence, has accepted an emergency mechanism to stop and suspend visa liberalisation in cases of abuse.”

Regarding the reform of the asylum system, the EPP Group Chairman underlined: “It is essential that Europe is making significant progress in the development of the Common European Asylum System. The experience of recent months has shown that we need a functioning and sustainable system.”

With its proposals, the European Commission has taken many EPP Group demands on board. “We support a flexible solidarity mechanism on the distribution of migrants”, continued Weber. "After restoring law and order at the EU's external borders, this is a very important step towards a good working asylum system. We must establish a fair balance between Member States. Therefore we have to create new forms of participation of the Member States to the solidarity mechanism”, he concluded.

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