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EU-Pakistan readmission deal - the wrong instrument at the wrong time


21 Sep 2010



"We can't have two weights and two measures - either we fully respect human rights or we give in to those who don't respect them" Portuguese GUE/NGL MEP Rui Tavares said today in Parliament's debate on the EU-Pakistan readmission agreement*.

"Just two ago weeks we were here debating the floods in Pakistan and the ongoing and devastating humanitarian disaster, now we have a proposal in front of us that seeks to send people back there! This agreement aims to return people to a country which does not comply with relevant human rights standards, which has not signed the 1951 Geneva Convention and where the current situation does not allow for safe return."

Dutch GUE/NGL MEP Dennis de Jong added that the GUE/NGL was opposed to this readmission agreement on the basis that it is "the wrong instrument at the wrong time".

"Millions of people are fleeing the floods that have caused so much destruction. At a time like this the EU should be helping Pakistan, but instead they are seeking to send back asylum seekers whose applications have failed, ignoring the values we pride ourselves on in Europe. Pakistan is not a stable country right now and Council and Commission must realise that it cannot offer adequate protections or sufficient human rights guarantees."

*The EU-Pakistan readmission agreement deals with the return of rejected asylum seekers and is the first to be concluded under the Lisbon Treaty. Parliament will vote on the deal tomorrow (Tuesday).

David Lundy + 32 485 50 58 12
Gianfranco Battistini + 32 475 64 66 28
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20
Sonja Giese + 32 486 94 50 21
Gauche Unitaire Européenne / Gauche Verte Nordique
European United Left / Nordic Green Left