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Parliamentary questions
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31 October 2018
E-005567-18
Question for written answer E-005567-18
to the Commission
Rule 130
Ernest Urtasun (Verts/ALE) , Ana Miranda (Verts/ALE) , Judith Sargentini (Verts/ALE) , Josep-Maria Terricabras (Verts/ALE) , Eva Joly (Verts/ALE) , Jean Lambert (Verts/ALE) , Bodil Valero (Verts/ALE) , Molly Scott Cato (Verts/ALE) , Pascal Durand (Verts/ALE) , Romeo Franz (Verts/ALE) , Monika Vana (Verts/ALE) , Margrete Auken (Verts/ALE) , Julia Reda (Verts/ALE) , Terry Reintke (Verts/ALE) , Sven Giegold (Verts/ALE) , Bart Staes (Verts/ALE) , Jordi Solé (Verts/ALE) , Ska Keller (Verts/ALE) , Miguel Urbán Crespo (GUE/NGL) , Tania González Peñas (GUE/NGL) , Javier Couso Permuy (GUE/NGL) , Estefanía Torres Martínez (GUE/NGL) , Maria Lidia Senra Rodríguez (GUE/NGL) , Xabier Benito Ziluaga (GUE/NGL)

 Subject:  Criminalisation of humanitarian assistance
 Answer in writing 

The town of Riace (Italy) has become an exemplary migrant integration project. Its mayor, Domenico Lucano, has created a model of cohabitation for refugees and local communities that has rebuilt the town’s population and economy. This week, he was arrested for ‘facilitating illegal immigration’.

The escalation of sanctions against and intimidation of providers of humanitarian assistance is becoming an alarming trend across Europe. The EU Facilitators’ Package (Directive 2002/90/EC and Framework Decision 2002/946/JHA) seeks to compel Member States to adopt criminal sanctions for a broad set of behaviours in a framework characterised by legal ambiguity and uncertainty.

Article 1(2) of the directive providing for a mere non-binding option to Member States to apply an exception to the criminalisation of ‘humanitarian’ assistance, does not apply to instances of facilitation of irregular stay. These legal uncertainties are exacerbated by the omission of its relationship with relevant international and regional human rights instruments, which stipulate legal obligations for State Parties and often call for the provision of assistance to those in need.

1. How does the Commission intend to reform the current legislation in order to achieve greater clarity and uniformity by specifying which forms of facilitation should not be criminalised by Member States?

2. Does the Commission intend to include a mandatory exemption from criminalisation for ‘humanitarian assistance’?

Last updated: 12 November 2018Legal notice