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EUCO cannot turn a blind eye to the migration drama, particularly at the Polish-Belarusian border, says Iratxe García

Date

20 Oct 2021

Sections

Global Europe

Today during the plenary debate ahead of the summit of EU heads of state and government starting tomorrow, the president of the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament called on the national leaders to be brave and confront the abuses of the PiS-led government in Poland.

Iratxe García insisted in the plenary that the Commission and the Council must use all the instruments available to ensure the protection of the EU legal order and European values.

She also reminded them of the obligation of all EU member states to comply with international legislation and with the Geneva Convention when it comes to the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers. At least seven people have already died at the border between Belarus and Poland, where there is an untenable situation for thousands of migrants, many of them children.

After the debate, Iratxe García declared:

“With continued reports of unacceptable pushbacks and fundamental rights abuses at parts of the EU’s external borders, our Group has written to the Commission calling for infringement action against Croatia, Greece and Poland, as well as more rigorous conditions for EU funding. The right to seek asylum must be respected and building walls is not the answer. EU member states need to start talking about protecting people, instead of talking about protecting borders, above all when EU funding is involved.”

Read the letter sent to Commission President Ursula von der Leyen by S&D MEPs Iratxe García, Simona Bonafé and Birgit Sippel on the situation of migrants at the EU’s borders.

Lastly, Iratxe García also addressed the challenge of energy prices and called for urgent action:

“Winter is coming and we cannot accept that millions of EU citizens are condemned to choose between eating or heating. It is an exceptional situation that demands exceptional measures. We must use a broad array of tools to act on different fronts: from reforming the wholesale electricity market to combatting speculation in the CO2 emissions trading scheme (ETS). It is time to secure our energy security by diversifying our sources, providers and routes, together with more energy efficiency.”

 

 

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