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New refugee policy must reflect European solidarity


21 Apr 2017


Global Europe
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Tackling war, climate change and poverty that force people to become refugees is an important step towards creating a safer world, PES Deputy Secretary General Marije Laffeber will tell an audience in Athens today.

She will also argue that the responsibility for relocation and ensuring legal migration channels must be shared by all – otherwise the system will fail.

Addressing the conference, Ms Laffeber will say:

"The topic of migration has always been close to our hearts at the Party of European Socialists, but in recent years it has risen to the top of our political agenda, and not always in a positive way.

"There must be much more attention on migrant children. They are the future of our societies and we have the obligation to ensure they get an education and decent living conditions.

"The reform of Dublin regulation must establish and harmonize a harmonised and strong EU system based on the principles of solidarity, responsibility and humanism. We have the responsibility to support one another.

"Shared responsibility, relocation and legal migration channels are not only the fairest, but also the best way to manage refugee and migration flows, to save lives and futures of people. EU solidarity must have a true meaning."

The conference is entitled 'Revision of the Dublin Regulation and the Relocation Scheme: A question of solidarity'. It is co-hosted by the Party of European Socialists and its Greek member party, PASOK.

Ms Laffeber will add:

"Europe must stand in solidarity with Greece, both in facing the migration crisis and in providing humane solutions to it. That’s why we are delighted to host this conference with our member party, PASOK."

At the same event, PASOK Leader Fofi Gennimata will emphasize that “no country can manage refugee flows alone. We must raise a wall against racism and intolerance, and guarantee the security and the rights of every human being”.

The conference in Athens follows a meeting of the Migration & Integration Network, a PES working group which regularly brings together policy-makers and representatives from member parties across Europe.

The network met on 20 April to discuss how the reform of the Dublin regulation and the relocation scheme can reflect true European solidarity and progressive integration of refugees.

And delegates from PASOK and PES visited a refugee camp in Athens, where they witnessed overcrowded facilities, difficult conditions and lack of access to basic public services such as healthcare and education.

This demonstrates that cooperation and shared responsibility are necessary to ensure the security and protection of refugees, especially of vulnerable groups like women and children.


For more information, please contact Toby Wardman, +32 491 86 97 48