Immigration: New trends and pressing challenges
There are currently 50.000.000 million people on the move across Europe. Refugees, displaced people, others, driven by poverty. They try to reach Europe's borders for a variety of reasons but also in a variety of ways, some legal, others not and sometimes with tragic results as we have all seen over the past days. Manfred Weber, Chairman of the EPP Group, opening the EPP Group Bureau meeting in Milan referred to the extreme complexity of the situation which has a humanitarian, demographic and economic background.
Lara Comi, Vice Chair of the EPP Group asked to leave aside the populist approach and to come up with practical solutions.
Elisabetta Gardini Head of the Italian Delegation of the EPP Group underlined the need to crack down on the traffickers and she stressed the importance of the EPP Groups paper on Migration.
Elisabetta Gardini on The first thing to be done is to destroy the boats and after that we can have a serious discussion. We will have this Milano paper, concrete proposals, as you know. But, I think, Manfred Weber said the same thing yesterday, we have to start activating the Directive 55/2001 which already foresees quotas for temporary protection for people seeking asylum.
Theo off Elisabeth Collett Director of the Migration Policy Institute in Europe gave a general overview of the situation proposing measures on EU-level how to manage the refugee crisis and how to support the countries who are currently take the majority of the refugees.
Elisabeth Collett on Addressing real causes is a generational endeavour, it is not going to be resolved over night. So in the short term we need to make sure that people are safe, and in the medium term we have to start thinking of what equitable ways to manage the situation as a whole This is not just an interior policy, it is not just a foreign policy, this is a policy that requires dedicated action from a range of EU Member States and quite a lot of political leadership.
Pier Ferdinando Casini, President of the International Center Democratic Party referred to the situation in Libya, a country which plays a key factor in illegal migration.
Ferdinando Casini We need to work towards a national union in Libya. They need to agree among themselves on a government of national unity. Without that we will not have a serene future. We have to work on two levels. First we have to crack down on the trafficking of human beings. Secondly, a big European operation is needed, even in Africa, in order to treat the root causes of the dramatic immigrant flow from Africa.
Theo off Angelino Alfano, the Italian Interior Minister pointed out key issues he addressed to the EPP Group
Alfano on From our side Italians and Center right parties, we'll address requests to enforce the Triton programme and enlarge its operational scope and its financial resources. Then we have to tackle the smugglers before they leave the coast and to organise mechanisms for solidarity and equal distribution of migrants and asylum seekers in Europe.
Theo off The EPP Group discussed in Milan the Groups document on migration which will be adopted next week in Strasbourg. Esteban Gonzales Pons Vice chairman of the EPP Group responsible for the working Group on Legal and Home Affairs
Gonzales Pons on First of all Europe needs a realistic position on immigration. Words are not enough. We have to actively work to do something. I think that if do not want any more deaths in the sea you have to do the ground work on land.
Theo on The issue of migration is a very complex one and time demanding. The EPP Group puts all its efforts and with the Milano paper contributes significantly to the solution of the problem
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