Procedure : 2015/2660(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0379/2015

Texts tabled :


Debates :

Votes :

PV 29/04/2015 - 10.67
CRE 29/04/2015 - 10.67
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

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to wind up the debate on the statements by the European Council and the Commission

pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure

on the latest tragedies in the Mediterranean and EU migration and asylum policies  (2015/2660(RSP))

Timothy Kirkhope, Jussi Halla-aho, Helga Stevens, Branislav Škripek, Geoffrey Van Orden, Angel Dzhambazki, Ruža Tomašić, Ryszard Antoni Legutko, Kazimierz Michał Ujazdowski, Marek Jurek, Jadwiga Wiśniewska, Janusz Wojciechowski, Zbigniew Kuźmiuk, Stanisław Ożóg, Zdzisław Krasnodębski, Beatrix von Storch, Daniel Dalton, Marek Józef Gróbarczyk on behalf of the ECR Group

European Parliament resolution on the latest tragedies in the Mediterranean and EU migration and asylum policies  (2015/2660(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

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

–       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 the Geneva Convention of 1951 and the additional protocol thereto,

–       having regard to its resolution of 23 October 2013 on migratory flows in the Mediterranean, with particular attention to the tragic events off Lampedusa(1),

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

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

–       having regard to its resolution of 17 December 2014 on the situation in the Mediterranean and the need for a holistic EU approach to migration,

–       having regard to the ten-point action plan on migration of the Joint Foreign and Home Affairs Council of 20 April 2015,

–       having regard to the conclusions of the EU Council special summit on the Mediterranean refugee crisis of 22 April 2015,

–       having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.     whereas over 1 500 persons have died in the Mediterranean Sea since the beginning of this year;

B.     whereas up to 700 migrants are missing and feared drowned after a boat of trafficked asylum seekers capsized on 19 April 2015; whereas up to 950 people are believed to have been on board;

C.     whereas a similar tragedy took place earlier this month, in which around 400 migrants were reported to have lost their lives at sea when a boat estimated to be carrying about 550 people capsized;

D.     whereas as of Monday, 20 April, the total number of migrants having reached the Italian coastline since 1 January was 23 918;

E.     whereas the Italian Government has launched several lifesaving operations in the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Italy;

F.     whereas more than 24 400 irregular migrants have been rescued on the central Mediterranean route since the launch of Joint Operation ‘Triton’ in November 2014, including nearly 7 860 with the participation of assets co-financed by Frontex;

G.     whereas smugglers and human traffickers exploit irregular migration and whereas such networks pose a serious risk to the lives of migrants and a challenge to the EU on a massive scale; whereas smugglers’ networks operate from the territories of third countries with total impunity, generating an estimated EUR 20 billion per year in profits from their criminal activities;

H.     whereas according to Europol organised criminal groups facilitating the trafficking of individuals across the Mediterranean into the EU have direct links with drugs, firearms and terrorism; whereas on 17 March 2015 Europol launched its Joint Operational Team ‘Mare’ to tackle these criminal groups;

I.      whereas regional instability and conflict, and the rise ISIS in neighbouring conflict areas, are having an impact on the mass influx of migrants and flows of displaced people and, therefore, on the number of individuals attempting to reach the EU;

1.      Expresses its regret at the repeated tragic loss of lives in the Mediterranean;

2.      Urges the European Union and the Member States to find effective solutions and enhance existing cooperation in order to prevent further loss of life, prevent further departures of trafficked vessels, and improve the speed and efficiency with which Member States process asylum seekers’ applications, and return those who do not meet the criteria without delay;

3.      Calls on the Member States to strengthen the role of Frontex and the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) and the assistance they are able to offer in order to ease the pressure faced by Member States in receiving countries;

4.      Calls on the Member States to offer additional and meaningful resources and financial assistance in order to address the current deficiencies in the EU’s border security and lifesaving operations;

5.      Call on the Member States to work closely with Europol, Frontex, EASO and Eurojust to fight against human traffickers and criminal networks of smugglers, by identifying their modus operandi, and to identify the routes and methods used by criminal groups; welcomes, in this connection, the Joint Operational Team ‘Mare’ launched by Europol to fight against organised criminals and smuggling networks;

6.      Urges the Member States and third countries to lay down the strongest possible 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;

7.      Stresses the need for third countries in the region of areas of departure to patrol their own territorial waters in order to intercept trafficked vessels, and calls 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;

8.      Urges the Member States and the EU to enhance cooperation with third countries, particularly countries of departure, in tackling human traffickers; believes that such cooperation in identifying criminal groups and individuals is key to the prevention and prosecution of human trafficking and of further exploitation and loss of life;

9.      Calls for closer coordination of EU and Member State policies relating to the training of local police forces at the points of departure of vessels of trafficked persons in order to identify and stop criminal groups and individuals, and for information services on the ground to be stepped up to increase awareness of the potential risks of human trafficking;

10.    Asks that international operations consider making systematic efforts to capture and destroy the vessels used by smugglers, in full compliance with international law;

11.    Reiterates its support for all UN-led efforts and diplomatic work towards re-establishing government authority in Libya and its commitment to stepping up efforts to address conflict and instability in Libya and Syria; stresses that creating regional stability in conflict areas is key to reducing the further displacement of individuals;

12.    Calls for the strengthening of EU cooperation with partner countries in the Middle East and Africa in order to promote democracy, the rule of law and human rights; calls, in this connection, for greater cooperation with countries in the region within the Arab League and the African Union in order to manage, resettle and grant asylum to displaced persons;

13.    Considers that the Member States should ensure fingerprinting of all migrants through the Eurodac system in order to detect repeated and failed claims, and to speed up asylum procedures;

14.    Supports the establishment of a new return programme for the rapid return of irregular migrants coordinated by Frontex from frontline Member States; stresses the need to encourage voluntary return policies, while guaranteeing the protection of all existing rights under EU and international law;

15.    Recognises that it is important to develop a holistic approach to migration; reiterates the need for policy and action to be based on mutual trust and responsibility, as well as solidarity, in terms of both those Member States receiving asylum seekers and those Member States granting asylum;

16.    Urges the Commission to make sure that all Member States properly implement EU legislation in order to ensure effective, consistent and humane standards for reception conditions and the processing of asylum applications upon arrival; asks, in this connection, for the role of EASO to be enhanced in countries where this is not being achieved;

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


Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0448.

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