Procedure : 2015/2660(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0380/2015

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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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0367/2015

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))

Guy Verhofstadt, Cecilia Wikström, Louis Michel, Frédérique Ries, Marielle de Sarnez, Philippe De Backer, Nathalie Griesbeck, Gérard Deprez, Hilde Vautmans on behalf of the ALDE 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 the report of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) of April 2012 on taking action to better manage migratory flows,

–       having regard to the report by the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants of April 2013 on the management of the external borders of the European Union and its impact on the human rights of migrants,

–       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(1),

–       having regard to its resolution of 23 October 2013 on migratory flows in the Mediterranean, with particular attention to the tragic events off Lampedusa(2),

–       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 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(3),

_       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 European Council Special Summit on the Mediterranean refugee crisis of 23 April 2015,

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

A.     whereas during the latest tragedies, over 1 000 people have died in the Mediterranean Sea since the beginning of April 2015, according to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM);

B.     whereas according to the IOM, an estimated 23 918 migrants have reached the Italian coast since 1 January 2015; whereas according to the Greek authorities, 10 445 migrants were rescued by the Greek Coastguard in the Aegean Sea in the first quarter of 2015;

C.     whereas the IOM estimates that more than 30 000 people could die in the Mediterranean Sea this year, pointing once more to the need for the EU and the Member States to do everything possible to save the lives of people in danger at sea;

D.     whereas the last operation solely dedicated to search and rescue in the Mediterranean, Mare Nostrum, rescued 150 810 migrants over a 364-day period;

E.     whereas the assumption that Mare Nostrum acted as a ‘pull factor’ for migrants to attempt to cross the Mediterranean has proved unfounded, with a considerably higher number of departures in 2015 than in the same period of 2014 when Mare Nostrum was operating;

F.     whereas the joint operation ‘Triton’ coordinated by Frontex became fully operational on 1 November 2014, with an initial budget of only EUR 2.9 million per month compared with over EUR9 million per month for Mare Nostrum;

G.     whereas a larger proportion of the people trying to cross the Mediterranean are fleeing from conflict or persecution in Syria, Iraq, Eritrea and Somalia;

H.     whereas according to Europol, organised crime groups are actively facilitating the transport of migrants across the Mediterranean Sea;

I.      whereas this resolution is a response to the latest tragedies in the Mediterranean; whereas the strategic report on a holistic approach to migration of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs will address EU asylum and migration policy in its entirety;

1.      Expresses its deep regret and sorrow at the recurring tragic loss of lives in the Mediterranean; urges the European Union and the Member States to do everything possible to prevent further loss of life at sea;

2.      Reiterates the need for the EU to base its response to the latest tragedies in the Mediterranean on solidarity and fair sharing of responsibility, as stated in Article 80 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), and to take a comprehensive European approach;

3.      Calls on the EU and the Member States to provide the necessary resources to ensure that search and rescue obligations are effectively fulfilled and therefore that they are properly funded; calls on Member States to continue to show solidarity and commitment by stepping up their contributions to the Frontex and European Asylum Support Office (EASO) budgets and operations; commits itself to providing these agencies with the resources (human and equipment) needed to fulfil their obligations through the EU budget and its relevant funds;

4.      Welcomes the European Council’s commitment to reinforce the Triton operation through increased funding and assets; notes, however, that in order for Triton to be successful it must have a mandate and resources that are at least equal to those of Mare Nostrum, including the possibility to carry out search and rescue operations in the high seas;

5.      Calls for the establishment of legal and safe routes to the EU for asylum seekers through the issuing of humanitarian visas at EU embassies and consular offices in third countries, using existing legislation such as Article 25 of the Visa Code and Article 5 of the Schengen Borders Code;

6.      Deplores the lack of commitment from the European Council to setting up a credible EU-wide binding mechanism for solidarity; calls for the setting up of a systematic mandatory resettlement programme;

7.      Calls on the Council to trigger either the 2001 Temporary Protection Directive or Article 78(3) of the TFEU, both of which foresee a solidarity mechanism in the case of mass and sudden inflows of displaced persons; calls on the Commission to propose objective criteria to define ‘mass influx’ to facilitate the triggering of these;

8.      Calls on the Commission to replace the existing Dublin Regulation with a binding quota of distribution of asylum seekers between the 28 Member States, with a compulsory allocation key based on both quantitative and qualitative data and taking prospects of integration into account;

9.      Welcomes the European Council’s proposal of joint processing of asylum applications with the support of EASO teams; calls on the Commission to enlarge the mandate of EASO to increase its operational role in the processing of asylum applications;

10.    Calls for rapid and full transposition and effective implementation of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) by all participating Member States, thereby ensuring common European standards, including for reception of migrants, under the existing legislation;

11.    Calls for closer coordination of EU and Member State policies in tackling the root causes of migration; underlines the need for a holistic EU approach, strengthening the coherence of its internal and external policies and notably its common foreign and security policy, development policy and migration policy; calls for the strengthening of EU cooperation with partner countries in the Middle East and Africa in order to promote democracy, fundamental freedoms and rights, security and prosperity;

12.    Calls on the Member States to work closely with Europol, Frontex, EASO and Eurojust to fight against criminal networks of smugglers in order to prevent them from making money by putting migrants’ lives at risk;

13.    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)0414.


Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0448.


Texts adopted, P8_TA(2014)0105.

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