Parliamentary questions
21 April 2015
Question for oral answer O-000043/2015
to the Commission
Rule 128
Monika Hohlmeier, Roberta Metsola, Elisabetta Gardini, Giovanni La Via, Elissavet Vozemberg, Michał Boni, Barbara Matera, Salvatore Domenico Pogliese, Alessandra Mussolini, Lorenzo Cesa, Lara Comi, Carlos Coelho, Daniel Buda, on behalf of the PPE Group

 Subject: Latest migrant ships tragedies in the Mediterranean

As many as 900 people were feared dead after a fishing boat packed with migrants capsised off the Libyan coast on Saturday, 18 April 2015. The incident happened in an area just off Libyan waters, 193 km south of the Italian island of Lampedusa.

This comes amid a wave of migrants trying to leave Libya for Italian shores. Since the beginning of the year, more than 1 500 people have died trying to reach Europe. In the immediate time frame, more assets in the Mediterranean are needed to save lives and robustly dismantle human trafficking networks. In the light of these circumstances, the Commission is asked the following:

– Is it considering the option of conducting a joint EU-UN military naval operation on Libya’s coast to stop human trafficking, destroy criminal and terrorist networks (especially those operating from the Libyan harbours) and ultimately save lives?

– What concrete plans does it have to make the Member States contribute more resources (in terms of staff and equipment) to joint rescue operations aimed at saving lives and ensuring the safety of migrants and their rescue teams from criminals and terrorists in international waters?

– Will it propose guidelines for a crisis mechanism that includes an EU-wide distribution system for asylum seekers in order to ease the burden on the Member States affected?

– What are the results of the EU dialogue with the African Union and the Arab League, and with countries of origin and transit, as regards their respective responsibilities when it comes to handling asylum seekers on their own territories and in fighting human trafficking?

– How does it plan to strengthen the budget and human resources of Frontex, and provide support for the most affected Member States, so that they can contribute effectively to enlarged search and rescue operations and operations to secure the EU-coastline?

– Is it willing to reinforce without delay the role of EUROPOL Joint Operation Team Mare as key coordinator of action against the ruthless criminals responsible for the death of thousands of migrants?

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