Refugees in Greece and Italy must be relocated to other parts of Europe

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GUE/NGL MEPs have welcomed yesterday's decision in the LIBE Committee to ensure that refugees who are stuck in Greece and Italy must be relocated to other EU countries.

The LIBE Committee adopted MEP Ska Keller’s report on the proposal for a Council Decision amending Council Decision (EU) 2015/1601 of September 22, 2015 establishing provisional measures in the area of international protection for the benefit of Italy and Greece.

GUE/NGL shadow rapporteur, Barbara Spinelli, states: “Council Decision (EU) 2015/1601 provides that 54 000 applicants should be relocated from EU member states to other EU member states. The Commission, however, had proposed that those 54 000 should instead be resettled from Turkey, making reference to the EU-Turkey agreement.”

“The rapporteur for this report – MEP Ska Keller – decided to delete all references to the EU-Turkey agreement and instead reinforce the current provisions concerning the emergency relocation decisions."

The report states that member states of relocation should expeditiously increase their efforts. Therefore, these countries should make available at least one-third of their relocation places by December 31, 2016.

Furthermore, if the member state of relocation does not approve the relocation within two weeks, that member state shall be considered to have given its approval.

“We have fought in particular for a compromise amendment that recalls that measures concerning family reunification have to be adopted in conformity with the obligation to protect the family and respect family life enshrined in many instruments of international law”, Spinelli continued, "therefore, family reunification is not conditional upon other Union policies or solidarity or emergency measures, and should be respected and promoted by member states in all cases”.

In addition, Spinelli explained: “Unfortunately our efforts to request a change of legal basis for the proposal from Article 78(3) of the TFEU to Articles 78(2) and 80 of the TFEU did not pass”.

Pursuant to Article 78(3), the European Parliament is only consulted whereas Article 78(2) provides that the European Parliament and the Council should act in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure.

“We will probably try to push forward these amendments during the plenary votes on this report in September,” Spinelli concluded.

GUE/NGL Press Contact:

Nikki Sullings +32 22 83 27 60 / +32 483 03 55 75

Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20



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