Document stages in plenary
Document selected : O-000085/2014

Texts tabled :

O-000085/2014 (B8-0043/2014)

Debates :

PV 25/11/2014 - 16
CRE 25/11/2014 - 16

Votes :

Texts adopted :


Parliamentary questions
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17 November 2014
O-000085/2014
Question for oral answer O-000085/2014
to the Commission
Rule 128
Birgit Sippel, Juan Fernando López Aguilar, on behalf of the S&D Group
Cecilia Wikström, Maite Pagazaurtundúa Ruiz, on behalf of the ALDE Group
Judith Sargentini, Josep-Maria Terricabras, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group
Cornelia Ernst, Marina Albiol Guzmán, on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group
Laura Ferrara, Ignazio Corrao, on behalf of the EFDD Group

 Subject: Summary expulsions and the proposed legalisation of 'hot returns' in Spain
 Answer in plenary 

There have recently been repeated reports by NGOs and international organisations of summary expulsions of migrants and excessive use of force by Spanish law enforcement authorities against migrants trying to enter the Spanish cities of Ceuta and Melilla in north Africa. On 6 February 2014, at least 15 migrants died in the waters off Ceuta after the Spanish Civil Guards fired rubber bullets and tear gas in their direction. A judicial investigation into those deaths is under way in Spain.

The Spanish Government is now proposing to adopt an amendment to its draft Public Security Law which would modify Organic Law 4/2000 on the rights and freedoms of foreigners in Spain so as to legalise ‘hot returns’ (unlawful expulsion of persons from Spanish territory without any of the necessary legal procedures having been carried out in respect of those persons). The proposed amendment would allow the expulsion of clandestine migrants detected on the boundaries of Ceuta and Melilla, without providing for any legal process or procedural safeguards for those migrants.

The Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, Nils Muiznieks, the UN Human Rights Committee and many NGOs active in the field of migrants’ rights have expressed their concerns that this may lead to the indiscriminate summary and collective expulsion of migrants without any effective remedy for those migrants. The proposed amendment risks running counter to Article 13 of the Spanish Constitution and to Articles 18 (the right to asylum) and 19 (protection against collective expulsions, and the principle of non-refoulement) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, and being contrary to international refugee law.

In the light of the above:

1. Does the Commission think that these practices are consistent with either the letter or the spirit of EU law, including the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, and/or with common European values?

2. What action is the Commission planning to take to address the abuses which have already occurred?

3. What action is the Commission planning to take to prevent such abuses from occurring in the future?

4. Does the Commission think that the planned legislative reform would be in compliance with EU law?

5. Does the Commission plan to take any action in this connection?

Legal notice