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Jean Lambert London's Green MEP

 Returning refugees to Turkey wrong approach



European Parliament calls for safe routes for refugees

Green MEPs today spoke out against the deal between the European Union and Turkey which is seeing asylum-seekers forcibly returned from Greek islands to Turkey in a violation of their human rights.

The condemnation of the deal comes one day after the European Parliament voted for a resolution calling for legal and safe routes for refugees and asylum seekers to enter Europe.

Jean Lambert MEP and her fellow Green MEPs backed the call for a radical overhaul of the EU asylum system in light of its ongoing failure to deal with and assist the numbers of people arriving.

They called for changes to ensure fairness and shared responsibility, solidarity and swift, effective processing of individual applications to relieve the pressure on countries like Greece and Italy.

Jean Lambert, Green MEP for London and the Greens’ migration spokesperson, commented: “The deportation deal with Turkey is an ineffective, kneejerk reaction to the refugee situation and goes against human rights and international law. Turkey is already coping with over two million refugees and its government is under increasing criticism for its ongoing human rights abuses. People fleeing conflict and killing must be made safe.

“I am happy that the Parliament has got behind a new shared approach to asylum. With no end in sight to the misery and suffering we’re witnessing in the Mediterranean, EU member states must accept their responsibilities and enter into a permanent and fair system for relocating refugees across EU member states, based on solidarity. More must be done to provide safe routes for people fleeing conflict so they don’t have to risk their lives.

“One important aspect so far overlooked is the wishes and needs of refugees. People must have the right to join family members already in Europe, or to go where they know the language – this is essential for integration and creating hope for the future.”