European Parliament adopts Resolution on ‘Migratory flows in the Mediterranean, with particular attention to the tragic events off Lampedusa’

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Resolution, adopted on 23 October 2013, was instigated by a Joint Motion from six different groups in Parliament and reminds Member States that they ‘have a legal obligation to come to the assistance of migrants at sea’. Recommendations include increasing funding for EASO and Frontex, improving training for border guards, extending relocation projects, and ‘creating a mechanism based on objective criteria to reduce the pressure on those Member States receiving higher numbers of asylum seekers’. Parliament calls on the Council ‘to agree swiftly on new binding interception rules for Frontex-coordinated operations at sea in order to achieve effective and coordinated rescue measures at EU level’. Support is given to the Commission’s proposals ‘to deploy a search-and-rescue operation from Cyprus to Spain’, and the Council is invited by Parliament to consider the possibility of an ‘EU coast guard’.

Parliament proposes a mechanism for determining disembarkation that improves safety but does not imply responsibility.  Similarly, Member States are encouraged to ‘assume responsibility for the asylum claims of people who are at risk of being unable to enjoy access to their rights in any Member State unable to fulfil its obligations’ (by using the ‘sovereignty clause’ in Article 3(2) of the Dublin Regulation). Parliament also wants the improvement of sea rescue operations to be a key priority for the new EUROSUR Regulation, calls on ‘the EU and the Member States to amend or review any legislation sanctioning people assisting migrants in distress at sea’.

Read the Resolution and Parliament's Press Release.

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