Europe should come up with a common asylum and migration policy that is humane and realistic, Martin Schulz warned EU leaders. The EP President was speaking at the start of an extraordinary European summit dedicated to migration after hundreds of people died in one week trying to cross the Mediterranean. Schulz said: “Our immediate priority must be to save lives at sea.”
Schulz said there was no such thing an EU migration policy and that instead we had a patchwork of 28 different national systems: “The lack of a truly European asylum and migration policy is now turning the Mediterranean into a graveyard.”
The President said search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean should be stepped up quickly, while common European action should take place in a spirit of solidarity with a fair sharing of responsibilities. Schulz said it was not fair to let countries that border the Mediterranean deal with migration on their own.
In addition Schulz pleaded for the same procedural guarantees throughout the EU to ensure refugees are treated fairly and equally, more possibilities to enter the EU legally, as well as closer cooperation with the countries of origin and transit. “We must fight the causes of migration, not the migrants,” he stressed.