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 Full text 
Wednesday, 12 February 2020 - Strasbourg Provisional edition

Humanitarian situation of refugees at EU external borders (debate)

  Malik Azmani, on behalf of the Renew Group. – Mr President, I would like to thank the Commission and the Council representatives for being here this evening. I think it’s high time to get out of the migration deadlock. We owe it to our own citizens to get back into the driver’s seat.

In order also to preserve free movement within the Schengen area, we need strong external borders. Awaiting the Commission’s New Pact on Asylum and Migration, Renew Europe proposed its own comprehensive approach a few weeks ago: a Renew pack on asylum and migration. To relieve the pressure on EU external borders we need new international partnerships with third countries on migration. That’s the only way. Meanwhile, we need a common approach for those asylum seekers still arriving irregularly at EU external borders. We want ‘direct registration upon arrival’ amended to read: security checks; humane reception conditions; a first assessment at a European reception centre between potentially failed asylum applications and those that are not; shared responsibility for those people in need of international protection; shared responsibility and effort to quickly return rejected asylum seekers to safe third countries.

I have high expectations for this new pact on migration and asylum and hope that Renew Europe’s concrete proposals will also be taken on board. But I have still two questions: does the Commissioner agree with Renew Europe that the EU must be able to step in when the Member States at external borders cannot or will not deliver? Because that’s what we saw in the past. And how will the Commission address unwanted secondary movement of asylum seekers within the EU?

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