International asylum law must be respected!
Responding to Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, who addressed the plenary this morning, GUE/NGL MEP Malin Björk welcomed him saying that as the UN and UNCHR are key to maintaining respect of international asylum law, his visit to speak to the European Parliament was particularly important today.
MEP Björk said: "I agree with you that the EU needs to take in more people and we need to do it in such a manner that we divide the responsibility among countries. Closed borders are not the right policy; there needs to be safe passage, my group agrees with you there. We need to help unaccompanied minors better as well and to improve our integration system."
"You said we have to combat islamophobia and racism in Europe and we totally agree with you on that. Also, we cannot leave Greece to become a giant refugee camp. We have to take joint responsibility."
"The way that the EU is now trying to negotiate with Turkey to keep refugees out does not reflect your proposals. They are proposing to send refugees back in the same boats as they arrived in. That is not in line with international asylum law - thank you for making that point."
MEP Björk concluded: "It is with great concern that we see that the EU is not standing up for asylum rights. We hope that your pressure on the EU will have some effect."
GUE/NGL Press Contact:
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20
Nikki Sullings + 32 483 03 55 75
European United Left / Nordic Green Left
European Parliamentary Group