The European Commission today presented a new package of measures on migration. The proposals do not go far enough, according to Jean Lambert, Greens MEP for London and Member of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs committee, who stated:
‘The European Commission seems, at least, to have understood that the EU Member States must together face up to their collective responsibility for refugees. The proposal for firm allocations for the distribution of asylum seekers is a first step. Nevertheless, on the whole, the Commission’s proposals are timid and don’t go far enough. The Commission must ensure that the Dublin rules do not block the right to asylum.
‘The progress made on allocations is overshadowed by the proposals to combat people smugglers by means of UN-backed military operations. These military operations are focused on deterrence but will in practice mean that desperate people seek out even more dangerous routes into the EU. We need more opportunities for legal access and greater commitment on combating the underlying reasons why refugees flee their country of origin.’
Jean Lambert concluded:
‘The Home Secretary gave interviews this morning but doesn’t appear to be in full possession of the facts, which is deeply worrying. Two of the biggest groups crossing Med are Syrians & Eritreans: almost all refugees. The crisis in the Mediterranean is a humanitarian issue, not a security problem.’