Motion for a resolution - B8-0343/2017Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on making relocation happen

15.5.2017 - (2017/2685(RSP))

to wind up the debate on the statements by the Council and the Commission
pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Helga Stevens, Branislav Škripek, Monica Macovei on behalf of the ECR Group

Procedure : 2017/2685(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on making relocation happen


The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Council Decision 2015/1523 of 14 September 2015 establishing provisional measures in the area of international protection for the benefit of Italy and of Greece[1],

–  having regard to Council Decision 2015/1601 of 22 September 2015 establishing provisional measures in the area of international protection for the benefit of Italy and Greece[2],

–  having regard to Council Decision 2016/1754 of 29 September 2016 amending Decision (EU) 2015/1601 establishing provisional measures in the area of international protection for the benefit of Italy and Greece,

–  having regard to the 11 Commission reports on relocation and resettlement,

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

A.  whereas in September 2015 the Member States committed themselves to relocating 160 000 asylum seekers from Italy and Greece; whereas in September 2016 Member States decided that 54 000 of those places could be used for the admission of Syrian refugees from Turkey;

B.  whereas Council Decision 2015/1523 applies until 17 September 2017 and Council Decision 2015/1601 applies until 26 September 2017;

C.  whereas as of 27 April 2017, 17 903 asylum seekers had been relocated, 12 490 from Greece and 5 413 from Italy; whereas the monthly numbers of relocated asylum seekers are trending upward, with a record 1 600 relocations from Greece and 800 relocations from Italy in March 2017; whereas the Commission has set a monthly target of 3 000 relocations from Greece and 1 500 relocations from Italy;

D.  whereas, according to the latest available quarterly Eurostat data, only asylum seekers belonging to a nationality for which the average recognition rate is 75 % or higher are eligible for relocation; whereas standard background and security checks are being made and some Member States are carrying out additional security checks;

E.  whereas the number of people eligible for relocation present in Italy and Greece is currently far below the target numbers foreseen in the Council decisions; whereas so far 26 997 eligible applicants have been registered in Greece; whereas the Commission expects this number to remain stable, and therefore around 14,000 people would still need to be relocated; whereas if current trends continue this target is likely to be achieved; whereas so far 8 000 eligible applicants have been registered in Italy; whereas a backlog in registrations, in particular with regard to Eritrean nationals, and other logistical challenges complicate achieving the targets for relocation of eligible applicants from Italy;

F.  whereas in total approximately 62 000 refugees and migrants are still present in Greece; whereas despite a dramatically reduced influx following the closing of the Western Balkans route and the EU-Turkey Statement, still more migrants and refugees are arriving than are relocated under the current schemes;

G.  whereas Italy saw a record 181 436 arrivals in 2016, an 18 % increase over 2015; whereas 14 % of these were unaccompanied minors; whereas only Finland is systematically taking over unaccompanied minors under the current schemes;

H.  whereas EU support to Italy and Greece regarding the migration crisis goes beyond emergency relocation and includes significant financial support, technical and logistical support, reinforcement of border controls, and agreements on migration management with third countries; whereas despite these concerted efforts, the situation in some of the camps, shelters and other places where migrants and refugees stay remains inhumane;

1.  Acknowledges the efforts being made to support Greece and Italy in coping with the challenges of the migration crisis; stresses that this support is not limited to relocation but involves all tools currently at the EU’s disposal, including financial solidarity, negotiating agreements with third countries, information exchange, reinforcement of border controls and joint operations at land and sea borders, efforts to tackle the root causes, and the development of alternatives to illegal migration;

2.  Believes that continuation of these efforts is necessary and must also remain an option elsewhere in the Union should crises erupt or increase in intensity;

3.  Believes that a special effort must be made for those who are most vulnerable and who are fleeing war and persecution;

4.  Notes the work currently being done on updating and reforming the Common European Asylum System and Member States’ asylum procedures; urges all parties involved to take a realistic approach;

5.  Stresses that the EU’s Member States have vastly different social, cultural and economic realities which must be taken into account; stresses that it is also necessary to take into account current and past efforts and realities with regard to taking in refugees and migrants from a variety of backgrounds, as well as past and current secondary movements;

6.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission.