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National ministers’ failure on asylum reform risks turning a manageable situation into a humanitarian crisis


Global Europe
Regional Policy
Med & South
Following yet another failure by national ministers to agree on urgent and necessary reforms of the EU’s asylum system at the meeting of the justice and home affairs Council yesterday, S&D Group vice-president responsible for migration, Tanja Fajon said:
“Over the weekend more than 100 people drowned in the Mediterranean. This is both a shame and a tragedy for Europe. However, national ministers again failed to take any meaningful decision on asylum reform yesterday. We are clear that we need urgent action both to prevent more tragic loss of life but also to ensure that responsibilities are shared by all member states, and not just those on Europe’s borders. 
“Increased migration is not a temporary occurrence – demographic changes, poverty, climate change and instability in North Africa and the Middle East mean that large numbers will continue to seek a better life in Europe. Ministers have again failed abysmally to recognise this; we now must put pressure on national leaders not to do the same at the European Council at the end of June.”
S&D Group spokesperson for civil liberties, justice and home affairs, Birgit Sippel MEP, added:
“The European Parliament has adopted a clear and coherent plan on cooperation with third countries and on how to fix the EU’s asylum system. We need a complete departure from the current Dublin system, replacing it with a truly European one. Our Group has pushed hard to delete the first country of entry principle and replace it with a permanent and automatic mechanism of relocation in which all member states have to participate. However, national governments continue to bury their heads and let the populists and xenophobes set the agenda. We risk turning a manageable situation in a humanitarian catastrophe.”