Fighting for a humane EU Migration Pact

We continue to tragically lose lives in the Mediterranean sea and on EU shores. People are suffering while seeking safety and protection in EU countries. People fleeing from wars and political persecution still face detention and violent push-backs from national authorities. They are still exposed to the violence at the hands of smugglers, to exploitation. They are still facing social exclusion, racism and hate crimes. On top of this, climate change, environmental disasters and extreme poverty are putting extra risks to their lives, trying to reach Europe.

The EU has failed to provide safe channels for humane migration. Rather than finding effective responses to manage migration, many Member States continue to misuse the issue as a scapegoat for societal challenges. We need an EU migration and asylum pact that treats people seeking safety with dignity. Let’s fight for a humane migration policy that enables safe passage, upholds human rights law and facilitates successful integration. Let’s create a welcoming Europe!

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The EU Pact on Migration and Asylum: What the Greens/EFA stand for

At the moment, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union are negotiating a new Pact on Migration and Asylum. During these negotiations the Greens/EFA in the European Parliament continue to stand for the principles of solidarity, access to asylum, fair relocation between Member States, and respect for fundamental rights.

This is why we are calling for in detail:

  • Respect and protection of international law and fundamental rights
  • Access to fair and efficient asylum procedures
  • Ensure dignified reception conditions and solidarity among Member States
  • a fair share of responsibility for asylum applications among all Member States
  • Safe and legal channels for migration, including family reunification
  • an EU approach to labour migration that promotes mobility to and within the EU
  • Saving lives at sea and the establishment of EU-coordinated and EU-funded search and rescue, in respect of international human rights and maritime law.
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An EU migration policy based on human rights - not blame games

The Greens/EFA believe that a migration policy founded on human rights and solidarity is urgently needed. The right to asylum shall be upheld and the human rights of all migrants shall be respected, as provided by international and human rights laws, including the Geneva Convention, to which the EU is party. We want to establish a humane asylum system with fast and decentralised procedures.

However, the current proposals being negotiated are unfortunately fake solutions based on short-sighted political ambitions. Conservatives promote a tough approach, eg. by increasing the use of systemic detention. They do not suggest any workable solution or fair procedures, which would enhance compliance. Fair procedures would also reduce the risks of marginalisation and social exclusion.

But instead of seeking humane and practical solutions to manage migration in an orderly and safe way, EU Member States have been pursuing dangerous policies that are turning the Mediterranean into a graveyard.

For a humane migration pact, we will not accept:

  • The use of systematic and prolonged detention of migrants, including children and families at the external borders of the EU
  • Lowering of procedural standards and safeguards as part of the asylum procedure, including for example by reducing the right of appeal or justifying summary deportations in the absence of appropriate judicial review
  • Externalisation of migration management to third countries (i.e. Libya, Turkey, Tunisia...) in the absence of fundamental rights monitoring, democratic scrutiny and parliamentary oversight (see for example the recent EU-Tunisia deal)

The detention of migrants, children and families at the borders is totally unacceptable. The EU cannot allow the systematic and prolonged detention of people in unsanitary and unsafe conditions to continue. The Greens/EFA Group will never accept the lowering of procedural standards and legal safeguards in asylum procedures. Asylum seekers must retain the right to appeal or justification of deportation in the case of a failed application.

It’s time to end the inhumane and degrading treatment of refugees and migrants at EU borders.

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A Europe of solidarity, a welcoming Europe

Funding autocrats and militias to handle migration management without any democratic scrutiny or fundamental rights is a recipe for abuses and attacks against people's liberties. The EU cannot continue to outsource our issues without ensuring the utmost respect for human rights, the rule of law and European values.

Migration is a Europe-wide issue that requires practical and fair solutions based on solidarity and respect for human rights. We must not leave border countries to deal with the brunt of this crisis without solidarity from the rest of Europe.

This issue can not be solved by NGOs and individuals alone. And those helping migrants at sea must not face persecution by any government. Their vital work must not be persecuted. To stop the shipwrecks and lost lives at sea we urgently need an EU-coordinated, state-led search and rescue mission in the Mediterranean.

This is why the Greens/EFA are calling for a humane EU migration pact, so people seeking help can do so in dignity and under human rights law - for a Europe free from fear, for a Europe of solidarity!

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Migration Pact Negotiations - Greens/EFA shadow rapporteurs

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Asylum and Migration Management Regulation - Greens/EFA Shadow Damien Carême

What this file is about

The AMMR replaces the previous and notoriously dysfunctional Dublin system, which left Member states at the EU's external borders with a disproportionate share of responsibility for dealing with asylum claims, which our Group has consistently criticised. An innovation of the AMMR is the addition of two new aspects: a broader “migration management” approach, which includes cooperation with third countries; and a “solidarity” part which intends to address the current imbalance in times of “migratory pressure” via measures such as relocation. The negotiations on this key file are still ongoing and the Greens/EFA priority is to ensure solidarity via relocations and family unity are prioritised and made effective.

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Crisis and Force Majeure Regulation - Greens/EFA Shadow Damian Boeselager

What this file is about

This file establishes a number of derogations from the rules set out in the AMMR and APR, as well as a solidarity mechanism, which will apply in crisis and force majeure. Our Group’s view is that in such situations, mandatory relocation to other Member States and ensuring that applicants’ rights are upheld, including by establishing faster procedures to grant protection to those clearly in need, are the only effective and meaningful solutions.

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Screening Regulation - Greens/EFA Shadow Tineke Strik

What this file is about

The Screening Regulation introduces an informal pre-entry check for all third-country nationals who arrive at the external borders of the EU without fulfilling the entry conditions or after disembarkation, following a search and rescue operation. The screening will be carried out by resorting to de facto detention and without providing for legal remedies against the procedure. While negotiations are still ongoing, our Group is concerned that further categories of third-country nationals will fall under the scope of the screening, leading to increased risks of ethnic profiling and racial discrimination.

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Asylum Procedures Regulation - Greens/EFA Shadow Erik Marquardt

What this file is about

The APR sets rules and time limits for making, lodging, registering and examining asylum applications. This includes rights and obligations for asylum applicants, including for appealing against negative decisions. The file also allows for a variety of derogations from and variations of the “normal” asylum procedure which will significantly reduce procedural safeguards for applicants subjected to them and to which our Group is opposed.

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Eurodac Regulation - Greens/EFA Shadow Saskia Bricmont

What this file is about

Eurodac is a biometric database whose original purpose was that of facilitating the application of the Dublin Regulation and the transfer of asylum applicants across Member States by identifying asylum-seekers when entering the EU. With the new reform, the scope of Eurodac will be largely expanded. The new rules also provide for the lowering of the age for taking biometric data from 14 to 6 and the possibility to resort to coercion for taking fingerprints and facial images, including for children and vulnerable persons.

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Reception Conditions Directive - Greens/EFA Shadow Damien Carême

What this file is about

The purpose of this Directive is to set minimum standards for the reception of asylum seekers including housing, health care and the right to work during the asylum procedure across the EU. The new proposal will: Allow applicants to work at the latest six months after requesting asylum, instead of currently nine months, improving self-reliance and integration prospects; Favour access to language and civic education courses and vocational training to enhance integration opportunities; and Appoint legal guardians for children and ensure access to education.

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Qualification Regulation - Greens/EFA Shadow Alice Bah Kuhnke

What this file is about

The purpose of the Qualification Regulation is to further harmonise the criteria by which Member States define who qualifies as a refugee, as well as other forms of protection for persons who face serious risks in their country of origin. The objective is to ensure that persons fleeing persecution are identified and have access to the same level of protection across the EU, regardless of the Member State where they lodge their asylum application.

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Resettlement & Humanitarian Admission Framework Regulation - Greens/EFA Shadow Tineke Strik

What this file is about

This new Regulation sets up a common procedure, including common eligibility criteria for Member States to grant resettlement and humanitarian admission for the most vulnerable third-country nationals or stateless persons in need of international protection.

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Press release |

EU must put rights of children first

The European Commission is due to address the European Parliament today on how to tackle the disappearance of migrant children in Europe. The Greens/EFA group is calling on the Commission and Member States to put the rights of children first, regardless of their migration status.
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Press release |

Disproportionate, ineffective and expensive

The Greens/EFA group have voted against new measures to create an entry/exit system for people from third countries travelling to and from the EU. Under the measures, authorities will be able to gather and store personal data on non-EU citizens, including tourists and business people. These costly and largely ineffective measures are set …
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Press release |

EU-Libya migration deal has wrong focus

The European Commission has announced proposals for preventing refugees from travelling to the EU from Libya. Instead of focusing on keeping refugees out of the EU, the Commission should be ensuring they have safe passage and their human rights respected.
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Press release |

Refugees

The European Commission has announced its intention to gradually resume the transfer of refugees to Greece under the Dublin system. Commenting on the announcement, Greens/EFA migration policy spokesperson, Ska Keller said: "With the EU having so far met only 5% of its target for relocating ref...
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Press release |

Syria

Commenting on today’s debate in the European Parliament, and ahead of tomorrow's vote on a resolution on the escalation in Syria, Greens/EFA group co-president Rebecca Harms said:"The images and reports from Aleppo must open our eyes to the urgency of the situation. Following the Russian atta...
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Press release |

Hungary migration referendum

Commenting on the result of the Hungarian referendum on EU migration quotas, which failed to reach the legal threshold of 50% turnout, Greens/EFA MEP Tamás Meszerics stated: “Despite an extremely aggressive propaganda campaign, a majority of the Hungarian electorate did not cast a valid vote. Eve...
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Informal summit in Bratislava

Speaking ahead of today’s informal summit of EU heads of state and government in Bratislava, Slovakia, Rebecca Harms, co-President of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament, said: “The disputes of recent months have undermined citizens’ trust in the European Union and the European Co...
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Press release |

Refugee crisis

The European Parliament today backed a report from Greens/EFA MEP Ska Keller on refugee quotas. A large majority of the Members of Parliament called for Member States to urgently meet their commitments to relocate 160,000 refugees from Greece and Italy to their territory
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Press release |

State of the Union

Commenting on today's State of the Union address from President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, Greens/EFA co-president Rebecca Harms said: "The European Union, with all its achievements and its shortcomings, is still the best answer to nationalism. We are better able to defe...
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Press release |

EU asylum rules

The European Commission today presented further proposals for reforming the EU’s system of asylum rules, notably as regards the criteria under which asylum-seekers’ applications for international protection are judged in the EU, and the rights and treatment they should receive. Commenting on the...