09-09-2019 | Cs

The MEP for Citizens (Cs), Maite Pagaza, considers that 'the humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean is unacceptable'

The vice president of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE), Maite Pagazaurtundua, has warned today at the Interparliamentary Conference on Asylum and Immigration held in Helsinki on the hot return practices of applicants for international protection .

Pagaza recalled in his speech that the Member States are obliged to facilitate the first access to the asylum procedure. Applicants "cannot be returned hot to Libya, Serbia, Turkey or Morocco." "If we do so," he warned, "we can be complicit in human rights violations by delivering them to the Libyan Border and Coastal Guard or to inhuman detention centers."

As he explained, international law and European legislation oblige the Member States to facilitate the first access to the asylum procedure before a legal decision can be considered as allowing a person to return. "We need a return and readmission policy that works, and Parliament will work to have a negotiating mandate with the Council for the Directive on the recast of the return as soon as possible," he said.

For the MEP of the liberal group Renew Europe "it is urgently necessary to find a solution for humanitarian reasons" and "for the respect of the foundational values ​​of the European Union". According to Pagaza, "the European Parliament has done its job and is willing to continue."

Reduce irregular immigration

He also stressed that if we want to reduce irregular migration to Europe, we need legal channels to Europe for workers and students; political and financial support for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030; and regain lost confidence with unrealistic projects such as 'landing platforms in third countries' that left the impression that Europe wanted to outsource its responsibilities.

Within that framework, the legal avenues for labor migration must be reinforced. Although many of those who undertake and survive the very risky crossing of the Mediterranean end up filling the gaps in our labor markets in some areas that need a lot of active labor, "this is not the right solution." Pagaza has defended a more balanced cooperation with third countries of origin, based on a policy of mutual benefits, formal agreements and transparent financing to establish true partnerships, as foreseen in the Global Compact on Migration.

The priorities of the European Council

The Spanish MEP has indicated four priorities that in its opinion the European Council should address immediately: (1) an effective search and rescue system that respects human rights, international and European law and our values; (2) adequate control of external borders, in accordance with our international norms and obligations; (3) a solidarity mechanism for the southern member states; and finally, (4) integration measures.

In relation to the solidarity mechanism for the southern Member States, he pointed out that “the European Parliament has proposed a more sustainable solidarity mechanism” in order to adopt negotiations and quick solutions when a humanitarian emergency situation occurs, such as the one experienced Summer on the Italian coast.

Finally, he regretted that the reform of the Common European Asylum System (SECA) is becoming a long-term project with uncertain objectives and results. "This is unacceptable," he said, "and I hope that the relaunch of the reform promised by Úsula von der Leyen will provide medium-term results." "The ball is now in the field of the Council to move the Union towards a global approach to asylum and immigration policy," he concluded.

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