Motion for a resolution - B7-0479/2013Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on migratory flows in the Mediterranean, with particular attention to the tragic events off Lampedusa

16.10.2013 - (2013/2827(RSP))

to wind up the debate on the statements by the Council and the Commission
pursuant to Rule 110(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Marie-Christine Vergiat, Patrick Le Hyaric, Cornelia Ernst, Alda Sousa, Marisa Matias on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0474/2013

Procedure : 2013/2827(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on Migratory flows in the Mediterranean, with particular attention to the tragic events off Lampedusa


The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Council discussions of 7 and 8 October 2013 on the recent events in Lampedusa,

–   having regard to the statements made by the President of the Commission and Commissioner Cecilia Malmström on 9 October 2013,

–   having regard to the statement of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) of 12 October 2013 ,

–    having regard to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in its April 2012 report ‘Lives lost in the Mediterranean Sea’ ,

–   having regard to previous statements by and the latest report, published in April 2013, of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants on the management of the EU’s external borders and its impact on the human rights of migrants ;

–   having regard to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms,

–   having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948,

–   having regard to Articles 78, 79 and 80 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–   having regard to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the additional protocols thereto,

–   having regard to Rule 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas in the latest tragedies off Lampedusa and Malta, on 3 and 11 October 2013, more than 400 migrants died and dozens of others were missing;

B.  whereas at least 20 000 people have died at sea since 1993 according to the International Organisation for Migration, pointing once more to the need to do everything necessary to save the lives of people in danger, notably as regards Member States’ abiding by their international sea-rescue obligations on the non-refoulement of asylum seekers;

C. whereas these tragedies call into question the founding principles of European Union migration policies that build a fortress Europe and make migrants take increasing risks to reach EU territory;

D. whereas the Member States should be encouraged to make use of the funding that will be made available under the Asylum and Migration Fund and of the funds available under the Preparatory Action to ‘Enable the resettlement of refugees during emergency situations’, which covers, among other things, the following measures: supporting persons already recognised as refugees by the UNHCR: supporting emergency action in the case of groups of refugees, identified as priorities, who are under armed attack and who face conjunctures of extreme vulnerability and of a life threatening nature and providing, where needed, extra financial support to the UNHCR and to its liaison organisations in the Member States and at EU level during emergencies;

1.  Expresses its sincere condolences to the families of the many people who have lost their lives at sea in recent events in the Mediterranean;

2.  Is of the opinion that Lampedusa should be a real wake-up call for the EU and its Member States and that the only way to prevent another tragedy is to adopt a coordinated approach based on solidarity and responsibility, with the support of common instruments;

3.  Urges Member States to take the relevant steps to stop people seeking protection risking their lives in an attempt to reach EU territory; rejects current Frontex actions and deplores the fact that measures envisaged by Member States and the Commission essentially provide for the strengthening of border surveillance and control which can only contribute to the progressive reinforcement of fortress Europe; requests the derogation of the Dublin II mechanism; calls on Member States to refrain from delegating their migrant reception responsibilities to neighbouring countries that do not respect human rights;

4.  Expresses concern that a growing number of people are risking their lives by embarking on dangerous boat crossings across the Mediterranean to the EU; calls on the Member States to adopt measures to enable, in particular, asylum seekers to access the Union asylum system in a safe manner, without having to resort to people smugglers or criminal networks and without putting their lives in danger;

5.  Recalls that EU solidarity should go hand in hand with responsibility; recalls that Member States have a legal obligation to come to the assistance of migrants at sea; calls on Member States to abide by their international obligations and stop turning back boats with migrants on board;

6.  Calls on the Member States to respect the principle of non-refoulement, in compliance with existing international and EU law; calls on the Member States to put an immediate end to any improper and extended detention practices in violation of international and European law, and points out that measures to detain migrants must always be subject to an administrative decision, and must be duly substantiated and temporary;

7.  Calls on the EU and the Member States to suppress or review any legislation criminalising people assisting migrants at sea; asks the Council to review Council Directive 2002/90/EC which defines the sanctions in the event of facilitation of unauthorised entry, transit and residence in order to clarify the fact that providing humanitarian assistance to migrants in distress at sea is to be welcomed and is not an action which should ever lead to any form of sanction;

8.  Calls on the Union and Member States to ensure that shipmasters undertaking search-and‑rescue operations are not accused of facilitating the smuggling of the rescued persons or faced with criminal charges;


9.  Underlines in particular the importance of responsibility-sharing in the field of asylum and recommends the creation of a well-resourced mechanism based on objective criteria to reduce the pressure on Member States receiving higher numbers of asylum seekers and beneficiaries of international protection, in either absolute or proportional terms;

10. Calls on the Union and Member States to adopt concrete measures to strengthen solidarity in rescue services, the processing of asylum claims, relocation and resettlement in order to avoid unnecessary tragedies at sea while sharing responsibility with Member States which have external borders and face increasing migration flows.

11. Stresses that a more coherent approach and greater solidarity between Member States are needed when receiving migrants and asylum seekers; calls on the Member States to make sure that all the provisions of the various CEAS instruments are correctly implemented;

12. Calls on Member States to grant humanitarian visas to displaced Syrians in particular, to use the provisions of Articles 25 and 5(4c) in particular of the Visa and Schengen Border Codes respectively and to end the requirement of transit visas for Syrian nationals as requested by the Commission and the Vice-President of the Commission and High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs, since it is almost impossible to apply for asylum from outside the EU;

13. Stresses the need for the right to asylum to be upheld at any time by Member States and to allow access to EU territory to people fleeing conflict and seeking asylum; reminds the Member States that people seeking international protection should be referred to the competent national asylum authorities and have access to fair and efficient asylum procedures;

14. Calls for the EU to take appropriate, responsible measures regarding a possible influx of refugees into its Member States; calls on the Commission and the Member States to continue to monitor the current situation and to work on contingency planning, including the possibility of applying the Temporary Protection Directive(8) , if and when conditions demand it;

15. Urges the Member States to address acute needs by means of resettlement and humanitarian admission; encourages the Member States to make use of the funds still available under the preparatory action / pilot project on resettlement;

16. Asks for an increase in the budget for the European Asylum Support Office (EASO); recalls that proper funding of this instrument is vital in order to develop a coordinated approach;

17. Calls on the Union, Frontex and Member States to ensure that assisting migrants in distress and rescue at sea are among the key priorities of the implementation of the newly adopted EUROSUR Regulation.

18. Calls on the Union and Member States to swiftly draw up rules for Frontex-coordinated operations at sea in order to achieve effective and coordinated rescue measures at EU level and to ensure that operations are conducted in full compliance with relevant international human rights and refugee law and standards, and obligations under the Law of the Sea;

19. Calls on the Union and the Member States to define effective mechanisms for the reception of refugees and migrants allowing, in particular, access to asylum procedures.

20. Calls on Frontex and the Member States to ensure that all border guards and other personnel participating in Border Guard Teams, receive training in relevant Union and international law, including fundamental rights and access to international protection, and guidelines for the purpose of identifying persons seeking protection and directing them towards the appropriate facilities in accordance with Article 5 of the revised Frontex Regulation, leading to a substantial change of Frontex operation priorities and border guard behaviour;

21. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the parliaments and governments of the Member States, the Council of Europe, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the UN Secretary-General, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants.