The only solution to the refugee crisis is for member states to share responsibility
Following the Commission's statement on implementing the European agenda on migration today, GUE/NGL MEPs spoke out against the inhumanity of trading in refugees and returning them to Turkey.
GUE/NGL Coordinator on the Parliament's Civil Liberties Justice and Home Affairs Committee, Cornelia Ernst, criticised the trading of refugees: "The idea seems to be that 'illegal' migrants should be sent back Turkey and in exchange we will get 'legal' ones to be settled in Europe."
"We are hearing that we are only going to provide refuge to Syrians, and only to those from certain regions in Syria. What about violations of human rights in Turkey? Sending people to Turkey would violate international human rights conventions.
"What is happening here is a violation of the individual right to asylum. We on the left will never accept this. I call on you to protest against this and ensure that all the resources we have as Members of the European Parliament be utilised."
Swedish MEP, Malin Björk, reinforced that the proposal with Turkey is not a solution: "Schengen must be restored, but we need to ensure that Europe does not oppose the arrival of refugees. We need reception, we need a coalition to accept refugees.
"But now the European Commission is coming up with a plan to prevent people from coming to Europe. This proposal involving Frontex looks unacceptable. It seems now that NATO forces are to be sent to the Mediterranean and that Turkey is to be responsible for the solution.
"That is not a solution now, nor is it a solution for the future. The solution for the future is management of the common European crisis. We all need to take responsibility."
Greek MEP, Kostas Chrysogonos, added: "Once again, we saw that in the European Union we have certain member states that do not want to assume their part in our common responsibilities; who show no solidarity to the member states that are dealing with a major, pan-European problem such as the issue of refugees and migrants."
"We need to understand that the unilateral actions and selfish nationalistic policies of some member states will bear no fruit, and these will have disastrous results for us all in the long term."
"I welcome the promise of immediate financial relief to deal with the needs of all trapped refugees and help with relocating them to other member states," Chrysogonos concluded.
GUE/NGL Press Contact:
Nikki Sullings +32 483 03 55 75
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20