EP President statement following meeting with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees
European Parliament President, Antonio Tajani, met with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, in Brussels on Tuesday.
Following the meeting, President Tajani stated:
“I have expressed my appreciation and reiterated our full support for the UNHCR and the role it plays in defending refugees throughout the world who are forced to leave their homes in search of protection and asylum, fleeing war, violence and persecution. The European Parliament, in the framework of the forthcoming EU budget, supports the need to increase funds to tackle the migration crisis, increasing allocations for the management and integration of refugees, including support to UNHCR action on the ground.
“In particular, Parliament is calling for more resources to be invested in Africa. On the one hand, to better manage migration flows in North African and Maghreb countries and to manage asylum and repatriation applications already in transit countries, avoiding thousands of deaths in the desert or in the Mediterranean. On the other, through a Marshall Plan for the African continent that the next EU budget should support with €40 billion, with the objective of stabilising the economy, reducing the uncertainties and poverty that push new generations of Africans to leave their countries.
“With regards to the reform of the European asylum system, I have had the opportunity to explain to the High Commissioner the leading role of the European Parliament, which has already approved all the reform proposals. We now expect the Council to adopt the measures as soon as possible, with particular attention to the reform of the Dublin system.
“We agreed with the High Commissioner that more urgent European and international action was needed in the Syrian crisis. The consequences of this humanitarian crisis are dramatic, first and foremost for the Syrian people, but they are having a destabilising effect on the Mediterranean, the Balkans and Europe as a whole.
“At our meeting, we also spoke about the dramatic situation in Venezuela, which is driving hundreds of thousands of people out of their country. In this regard, I informed Filippo Grandi that today I sent a letter to President Jean-Claude Juncker in which I calls on the European Commission to implement a comprehensive regional strategy to assist Europeans in the Caribbean and Venezuelan refugees.
There was also strong shared concern about the deteriorating situation in Nicaragua.”