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Schulz on vote of resolution on asylum and migration

29-04-2015

"Today's resolution on asylum and migration, adopted by an overwhelming majority (449 votes in favour), contains a number of concrete steps urgently expected from the Commission, the Council and the Member States.

The dramatic tragedies of the last days and weeks have demonstrated once again the painful truth that the Mediterranean is the world's deadliest border. The commitments made during last week's extraordinary European Council are a first step but they are not enough by far.

We need EU mandates to be expanded to include comprehensive search and rescue measures – the management of the EU's external borders, be they in the south or perhaps tomorrow in the east, is a common European responsibility. We need more energetic action against human traffickers who are building a multi-million euro criminal operation on people's misery. In a spirit of solidarity, we need a binding quota for the distribution of asylum seekers among all the Member States – and I welcome the commitment made by President Juncker this morning in this sense.

The EU already has a variety of solidarity mechanisms such as humanitarian visas, resettlement programmes, temporary protection – why are they never or hardly used? Why are we not fighting more effectively the causes of migration through our development and our foreign policy? Why does the EU still have no coherent legal migration policy, unlike comparable areas in the rest of the world?

We expect the Commission next month to deliver an ambitious Agenda on Migration which fulfils these expectations. The European Parliament will continue to push for greater European solidarity and common action."