Today, MEPs will debate the situation on the Turkish-Greek border and the demands on the European Union this afternoon. On Thursday (12 March) Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will visit the camps on the Greek islands.
Tineke Strik MEP, Greens/EFA group coordinator in the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee, comments:
"The European response to the Turkish President's lifting of border controls must not be tear gas and violence against those seeking protection. The harsh reaction of the Greek government and the security forces only plays into the hands of Recep Tayyip Erdogan. EU governments must commit themselves to quotas for the reception of refugees and migrants, and must allow routes into the European Union through orderly constitutional procedures.
"It is an important first step for EU Member States to form a coalition of the willing to evacuate unaccompanied and sick children from the Greek islands as quickly as possible, but relocation ambitions must be stepped up significantly, as all asylum seekers are suffering on the Greek islands. The inhumane conditions, with overcrowded camps and brute force against those seeking protection, must be brought to an end with a distribution plan and clear constitutional procedures.
"The European Union must not continue to tolerate right-wing extremists in Lesbos undermining the rule of law and attacking refugees, migrants and aid organisations. Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Commissioner Ylva Johansson must send a clear message that the European Union will not capitulate to the extreme right."
You can watch the debate from the European Parliament plenary live from 15.30 here: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/plenary/en/home.html