Parliamentary questions
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18 October 2012

Question for oral answer O-000172/2012

to the Commission

Rule 115

Nathalie Griesbeck, Renate Weber, Sir Graham Watson, Cecilia Wikström, Nils Torvalds, Baroness Sarah Ludford, Marielle de Sarnez, Sonia Alfano, Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, Edward McMillan-Scott, Marietje Schaake, Metin Kazak, Jan Mulder, Stanimir Ilchev

on behalf of the ALDE Group

  Subject:  EU preparation for a possible influx of asylum seekers from Syria

European promises to support people in need of shelter have been tested twice in recent times. The EU has collectively failed that test:

     700 000 people fled the violence in Libya last year; many ended up in refugee camps in neighbouring countries; of the 8 000 people identified by the United Nations as being in particular need of help, EU Member States only agreed to receive 400, according to Commissioner Cecilia Malmström; Norway, a non-EU country, accepted nearly as many by itself;

     In 2011 more than 50 000 migrants crossed the Mediterranean Sea in rickety vessels to reach the EU; many died trying, others arrived at the Italian island of Lampedusa or in Malta; the other EU countries did not step up to the plate and help: only 300 refugees were relocated from Malta to other Member States.

In Syria, 230 000 refugees have fled to neighbouring countries since the fighting started 18 months ago. There is no immediate end in sight to the violence, nor any hope of quickly resolving this conflict. Turkey is now trying to cope with 80 000 refugees and a further 10 000, in dire need of protection and medical help, are waiting on its border.

The EU should stay firm to its values of openness and solidarity and come to the aid of persecuted Syrians instead of letting neighbouring countries cope alone with a possible influx of asylum seekers.

What are the Commission’s preparations regarding a possible arrival of asylum seekers from Syria?

Tabled: 18.10.2012

Forwarded: 22.10.2012

Deadline for reply: 29.10.2012

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