EU and national authorities should provide emergency aid to help migrants and refugees to cope with freezing temperatures and snow in several parts of Europe, MEPs urged on Wednesday. They also called on EU governments to keep their promises to transfer thousands of asylum-seekers, particularly from Greece, to other countries.

Several speakers called the plight of refugees in the Greek islands, but also in other countries like Serbia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, “unacceptable” and some asked how many people have to die of cold before the EU reacts. Many MEPs underlined that only 6% of the 160,000 asylum-seekers who should have been relocated from Greece and Italy have so far been moved.

“We are not proud of this very painful situation”, said humanitarian aid Commissioner Christos Stylianides, who explained that the EU had allocated enough money to help Greece cope with this unprecedented conditions, but that “some weaknesses on the ground did not allow this money to be utilised in the best way”.


You can catch up with the debate via Plenary on Demand