Guidelines for Member States to prevent humanitarian assistance being criminalised
Question for oral answer O-000065/2018
to the Commission
Claude Moraes, on behalf of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs
Directive 2002/90/EC defining the facilitation of unauthorised entry, transit and residence (the Facilitation Directive) provides that each Member State shall adopt appropriate sanctions on:
a) any person who intentionally assists a person who is not a national of a Member State to enter, or transit across, the territory of a Member State in breach of the laws of the State concerned on the entry or transit of aliens;
b) any person who, for financial gain, intentionally assists a person who is not a national of a Member State to reside within the territory of a Member State in breach of the laws of the State concerned on the residence of aliens.
Under the UN Smuggling Protocol, acts of humanitarian assistance are not to be criminalised, and in this sense, Article 1(2) of the Facilitation Directive provides a non-binding option for Member States to apply an exception to the criminalisation of that ‘facilitation’ where the latter is humanitarian in nature. Despite this, instances of unintended consequences of the ‘Facilitators Package’ have occurred, affecting citizens and residents providing humanitarian assistance to migrants.
In this context, can the Commission state when it will put forward guidelines for Member States on the application of the Facilitation Directive in order to promote the application of its Article 1(2) by Member States and clarify which forms of facilitation should not be criminalised by Member States?