Immigration: EP adopts Busuttil Report charting Common Immigration Policy. Simon Busuttil MEP
The European Parliament today adopted Simon Busuttil MEP's Report on a Common Immigration Policy for Europe with 485 votes in favour, 110 votes against and 19 abstentions.
The vote follows intense negotiations between political groups on a number of hotly-contested issues, proving that a truly common European immigration policy still remains elusive as political views in Europe continue to differ on where to go and how far to go.
Welcoming the adoption of the Report, Simon Busuttil said that the text charts the way forward for the fledging of a European immigration policy which has been moving back and forth over the past decade.
"What we have today is a fragmented policy. My Report calls for a coherent policy", Busuttil said.
The Report warns: "Unless Europe moves urgently ahead in forging a common immigration policy, it risks being overtaken by events." It adds "Dramatic events around us have proved that we are already late."
The Report is divided into three parts looking at immigration from the point of view of prosperity, security and solidarity. The key points of the report include the following:
- The human tragedy that is taking place as a result of illegal immigration must be stopped once and for all.
- The burden-sharing mechanism envisaged in the Immigration Pact must be rapidly implemented and transformed into a binding and permanent instrument.
- Emphasis on returns must be strengthened and third country nationals who are illegally staying must leave or be returned.
- All EU agreements with third countries must include chapters on immigration.
- The Frontex Agency must be further strengthened both in terms of its financial resources as well as in terms of its capacity to act.
- Efforts must be redoubled to fight against organised crime and human trafficking.
However the left-wing block in Parliament still managed to insert a reference calling for migrants to have the opportunity to vote, which is a sensitive issue and which was strongly resisted by Busuttil and the EPP-ED Group.
In a last minute attempt to remove this reference, Busuttil tabled an alternative Resolution to the Report which removed this reference, but this did not go through since the Socialists and Greens voted against it.
"I did my best to remove the unnecessary call for voting rights for migrants, which in any case remains exclusively a matter for individual countries to decide. However, the Socialist majority prevailed on this", Busuttil said.
"I am sure that voters will be taking note of this when they decide who is best suited to represent their interests here in Strasbourg", he said.
The final report will be available shortly on www.simonbusuttil.eu.
For further information:
Simon Busuttil MEP, Tel: +33-3-88-175686
David Stellini, EPP-ED Press Service, Tel: +32-473-541926
Notes to Editors:
The EPP-ED Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 288 Members from all 27 Member States.