MEPs urge EU leaders to work out a solution to the current impasse on migration and asylum and stress their readiness to start talks to reform existing rules.
Ahead of a crucial European Council, during which EU leaders will discuss how to best deal with the influx of migrants and asylum-seekers, MEPs underline that Europe needs an effective Common European Asylum System that respects fundamental rights, paired with enhanced border controls and reinforced security.
Parliament has already adopted their position on all of the legislative files related to the reform of the EU asylum policy and is ready to start talks with EU Ministers.
Claude Moraes (S&D, UK), Chair of the Civil Liberties Committee, said: “It is key that the Council comes up with comprehensive, humanitarian and effective solutions to migration at this meeting. The European Parliament has done its work as co-legislator by putting forward its position on Dublin. With the reform of the Common European Asylum System the solution for an EU approach based on solidarity and shared responsibility is on the table and the Council needs to act now - and if it is not possible to take a decision by unanimity, it is time to decide by majority”.
“The cases of Aquarius and Lifeline showed us once more the importance of a decent and human EU approach and Council can no longer block the Dublin file, which is key to this”, Moraes insisted.
Finally, he made clear that “we will not support unviable policy solutions such as off-shoring that put at risk human rights. This is a red line for the Parliament."
Cecilia Wikström (ALDE, SE), EP rapporteur for the reform of the Dublin Regulation, added: “It is time for the Council to deliver and unite. The European Parliament has been ready to start negotiations on the Dublin regulation since November. I hope that EU governments during the summit are willing to set enough of their differences aside at this point in order to allow for negotiations between the Parliament and Council to begin”.
“We must find ways forward that allow for the creation of a functioning asylum system with adequate support for frontline states, shared responsibilities and correct management of our external borders. Without such negotiations, we stand empty handed with the current failed asylum system and no answers for citizens”, Wikström concluded.
Parliament adopted in November 2017 its mandate on the reform of the Dublin Regulation, which determines the member state responsible for dealing with an asylum application and is the centerpiece of a comprehensive reform of the EU asylum policy, but negotiations on the final form of the text will only begin once member states agree on their position.
MEPs have repeatedly called on the Council to show real political will to move ahead with the reforms and put an end to people dying in the Mediterranean while trying to reach Europe.
Parliament and member states have reached preliminary deals on several other files of the asylum package, such as the recast Reception Conditions Directive and the new Qualification Regulation and the new EU Asylum Agency, but those may only be confirmed if there is an agreement on the key Dublin Regulation. Significant progress has also been made during talks on a strengthened Eurodac system and a new EU Framework for resettlement.
The updated Procedures Regulation and the review of the EU Blue Card for highly skilled workers are two other proposals on which the co-legislators aim to reach an agreement before the end of legislature.