Motion for a resolution - B8-0362/2014Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the situation in the Mediterranean and the need for a holistic EU approach to migration

11.12.2014 - (2014/2907(RSP))

further to Questions for Oral Answer B8‑0037/2014 and B8‑0038/2014
pursuant to Rule 128(5) of the Rules of Procedure

Claude Moraes on behalf of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs

Procedure : 2014/2907(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
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European Parliament resolution on the situation in the Mediterranean and the need for a holistic EU approach to migration


The European Parliament,

–       having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,

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

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

–       having regard to the Geneva Convention of 1951 and the additional protocol thereto,

–       having regard to its resolution of 9 October 2013 on EU and Member State measures to tackle the flow of refugees as a result of the conflict in Syria ,

–       having regard to its resolution of 23 October 2013 on migratory flows in the Mediterranean, with particular attention to the tragic events off Lampedusa ,

–       having regard to the speech held by the President of the European Parliament during his visit to Lampedusa on 2 and 3 October 2014, to mark the anniversary of the tragedy of 3 October 2013,

–       having regard to the reports of its Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs on the visits by its delegations to Lampedusa in November 2011, to Jordan on refugees from Syria in February 2013, and to Bulgaria on the situation of asylum seekers and refugees, in particular from Syria in January 2014,

–       having regard to the debates in the European Parliament plenary sessions held on 9 October 2013, on EU migratory policies in the Mediterranean, with particular attention to the tragic events off Lampedusa,

–       having regard to the debates held, since the beginning of the current legislature, in the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs on 22 July 2014 on the Implementation of the Communication on the Work of the Task Force Mediterranean; on 4 September on Frontex Activities in the Mediterranean and on the Task Force Mediterranean; on 24 September on the Commission 5th Annual Report on Immigration and Asylum (2013) and on EASO Annual report on the situation of Asylum in the European Union (2013),

–       having regard to the Commission Communication on the work of the Task Force Mediterranean of 4 December 2013 ,

–       having regard to the European Council conclusions of 20 December 2013,

–       having regard to the Commission working document of 22 May 2014 on the implementation of the Communication on the work of the Task Force Mediterranean ,

–       having regard to the conclusions adopted by the European Council at its meeting of 26-27 June 2014, in which it defined the strategic guidelines for legislative and operational planning for the coming years within the area of freedom, security and justice ,

–       having regard to the Political Guidelines for the next European Commission, presented by President Juncker at the European Parliament’s plenary on 15 July 2014,

–       having regard to the Opinion of the European Economic and Social committee on European immigration policies of 11 September 2014 ,

–       having regard to the commitments made by the Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Mr Avramopoulos, at his hearing in front of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, on 30 September 2014,

–       having regard to the Council conclusions on ‘‘Taking action to better manage migratory flows’’ adopted on 10 October 2014,

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

–       having regard to the annual reports of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants, in particular the report, published in April 2013, on the management of the EU’s external borders and its impact on the human rights of migrants, and the report published in April 2014, on Labour exploitation of migrants,

–       having regard to the Address by His Holiness Pope Francis during His visit to the European Parliament on 25 November 2014,

–       having regard to the questions to the Council and to the Commission on the situation in the Mediterranean and the need for a holistic EU approach to migration (O-000078/2014 – B8 0037/2014 and O-000079/2014 – B8 0038/2014),

–       having regard to the Debate on the situation in the Mediterranean and the need for a holistic EU approach to migration, held in the European Parliament on 25 November 2014,

–       having regard to the motion for a resolution of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs,

–       having regard to Rules 128(5) and 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.     whereas in the first nine months of 2014 at least 3072 persons have died in the Mediterranean sea according to the International Organisation for Migration, pointing once more to the need to do everything possible to save the lives of people in danger and to the need for Member States to abide by their international sea-rescue obligations;

B.     whereas about 500 migrants were reportedly murdered after the boat carrying them from Egypt to the European Union was apparently rammed and deliberately sunk by traffickers; whereas smugglers and human traffickers exploit irregular migration and whereas those networks pose a serious risk to the lives of migrants and a challenge for the EU;

C.     whereas the ‘Mare Nostrum’ patrolling, rescue and surveillance operation launched by Italy to enhance the humanitarian rescue activities in the Mediterranean, has during 364 days rescued 150 810 migrants ; whereas the Italian Government has announced its intention to phase out its Mare Nostrum;

D.     whereas the joint operation ‘Triton’ coordinated by Frontex has become fully operational on 1 November 2014 and it is unclear as to what contributions will be made by Member States in the future;

1.      Recognises that it is important to develop a holistic approach to migration;

2.      Reiterates the need for the EU to step up fair sharing of responsibility and solidarity towards Member States which receive the highest numbers of refugees and asylum seekers in either absolute or proportional terms (in compliance with Article 80 TFEU); recalls the obligations deriving from Art. 78 and 79 TFEU;

3.      Regrets the tragic loss of life in the Mediterranean; urges the European Union and the Member States to do everything possible to prevent further loss of life at sea; is aware of the need to ensure that search and rescue obligations are effectively fulfilled and therefore that they are properly funded in the medium- and long-term;

4.      Considers it necessary to reflect on the strengthening of border policy and security and on how to improve the future role of Frontex and EASO; calls on Member States to continue to show solidarity and commitment by making sufficient contributions to these agencies’ budgets and operations;

5.      Recalls that Member States should lay down strong criminal sanctions against human trafficking and smuggling both into and across the EU, and also against individuals or groups exploiting vulnerable migrants in the EU, and set up wide-ranging information campaigns to raise awareness of the kinds of risks faced by those who put their lives into the hands of smugglers and those who are the victims of human trafficking;

6.      Considers that further avenues of legal migration should be explored;

7.      Considers the need to explore future initiatives that follow good examples of resettlement, including the voluntary resettlement programme laid down in Article 17 of the Regulation establishing the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund; recalls that EU funding offers assistance to those Member States who are willing to implement resettlement programmes;

8.      Stresses the need to examine the overall strategy on cooperation with third countries, including Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and the Middle East, as regards humanitarian, financial and political assistance, including in the field of law enforcement where appropriate; furthermore seeks clarification on the role of regional protection, resettlement and returns policies, including migration management agreements of both countries of origin and transit countries, in order to address the root causes of migration; stresses the need for third countries to respect international law with regard to saving lives at sea, and to ensure the protection of refugees and respect for fundamental rights;

9.      Should consider the possibility of swift processing in collaboration with third countries of transit and origin and of return for those who do not qualify for asylum and protection in the EU, ensuring that resources are best utilised for those who require protection; stresses the need to encourage voluntary return policies, while guaranteeing the protection of rights for all migrants and ensuring safe and legal access to the EU asylum system;

10.    Considers that an analysis should be carried out on how Home Affairs Funds are spent in this context including emergency funds, in particular for actions in the field of migration and asylum, border control, fighting smuggling and trafficking and returns, as well as an analysis of funds relating to EU foreign and development policy;

11.    Expresses concern about how to ensure an effective implementation of the CEAS - including where necessary and if required the launching of the Mechanism for early warning, preparedness and crisis-management (Art. 33 of Regulation No 604/2013) or by infringement procedures where EU legislation is not properly implemented - and how to guarantee effective common standards for reception, procedures and qualification throughout the EU protecting the most vulnerable and encouraging the social inclusion of refugees;

12.    Instructs its competent committee to assess the various policies at stake, with additional resources such as resources for conducting hearings and ad hoc delegations, develop a set of recommendations and to report to Plenary in the form of a strategic initiative report before the end of 2015;

13.    Instructs its President to forward this resolution to Council, Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.