MEP Roberta Metsola has presented her report on a holistic approach to migration to the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs.
The report, authored by Dr Metsola together with Italian socialist MEP Kashetu Kyenge, goes into detail on every aspect of migration and outlines how the EU should respond to the influx of migrants.
Presenting the report during a press conference in Strasbourg this morning, Dr Metsola said there was no quick fix to migration.
“We need to look at every single aspect and come up with an all-encompassing plan.”
Giving an overview of the report she said that on Frontex, the aim was to replace the agency with a European Border and Coast Guard to ensure integrated border management at the external borders with a view to managing migration effectively and ensuring a high level of internal security.
It says that the abolition of internal border controls in Schengen had to go hand in hand with strengthening external borders.
This was a pre-requisite for Schengen to function properly.
“The EU needs to strengthen its border protection. More measures are necessary to enhance the capacity of the Schengen Area to address the new challenges facing Europe and preserve the fundamental principles of security and free movement of persons.”
On security, the report says that everyone had to feel safe. Security fears caused by an influx of people existed and states had to fulfil their obligations at the external borders if these fears were to be allayed in any way.
The report also speaks on integration saying that the way forward was seeing this as a two-way process.
People granted protection had to be given all the rights they were entitled to and more had to be done to keep families together, “but at the same time it is also fair to expect respect for the values upon which our Union is built”.
The report notes that not everyone who arrived in Europe was eligible for protection and these people had to be safely returned.
“Only 36 per cent of those who were ordered to leave the Union were returned in 2014. There is, therefore, a clear need to improve the effectiveness of the Union’s return system - and this is something that simply must be done.”
The report also calls for a permanent, effective Union response in search and rescue operations.
On relocation, it insisted that every member state had to play its part.
“The establishment of urgent relocation measures is a move in the right direction but the numbers we have seen so far are very disappointing. States must fulfil their obligations as soon as possible.”
Moreover, a binding legislative approach to resettlement of people in need of protection was needed.
The report notes that the Dublin system had failed to reach its goals and had to be overhauled and for responsibility to be truly shared between states.
The report also tackled the root causes of migration and called on the EU to help third countries build up their asylum systems to allow third country nationals to seek protection there.
The draft report can be read in the pdf link below.