17 July 2015
On 16 July, the members of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE Committee) voted on the report presented last week by MEP Ska Keller on the proposal of the Commission for a voluntary relocation plan. MEPs called for a binding emergency mechanism to be put in place in order to relocate an initial total 40,000 Syrian and Eritrean asylum seekers from Italy and Greece to other EU Member States. “A further increase shall be considered, if necessary, to adapt to rapidly changing refugee flows and trends”, MEPs said.
The LIBE committee rapporteur, Ska Keller, added “we are also calling for a permanent distribution mechanism which must go substantially beyond the current proposals.” MEPs also stressed that the preferences of asylum seekers, as well as their needs, and specific qualifications are taken into account in order to facilitate their integration and prevent secondary movements.
“It is particularly important that refugees are not sent as pieces of cargo through the EU, but that their preferences are taken into account. This is the only way to support the integration of refugees and prevent them from moving to another member state. Respecting the interests of refugees is essential for the success of the distribution key,” rapporteur Keller added.
The legislative resolution was approved by 42 votes to 14.
For further information:
- Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee – LIBE Committee, press release, MEPs want a binding and permanent scheme to distribute asylum seekers in the EU, 16 July 2015
- Emergency relocation mechanism of asylum seekers and refugees within the EU: extract from the vote on the report by Ska KELLER (Greens/EFA,DE) at EP Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, 16 July 2015
- ECRE Weekly Bulletin, EP Report: asylum seekers should be relocated on the basis of family, community and cultural ties, 10 July 2015