Green leader urges member states to respect Parliament on migration

Green joint leader urges member states to move on the migration issue. [Alexandros Michailidis]

Ahead of a crucial EU summit largely dedicated to migration, Ska Keller, co-chair of the Greens/EFA group at the European Parliament, urged member states to move forward on the migration issue and take their cue from what MEPs have already agreed, she told EURACTIV.com.

“The European Parliament has proposed, with a large majority, across countries, across parties, to replace the current Dublin system by binding refugee quotas. The heads of state and government should take this as a benchmark for their summit. It’s high time for a European solution based on the principle of solidarity,” she told EURACTIV.

“The European Parliament has done its job, now it is the turn of the European Council to get on with it,” she added.

A German governmental source said that heads of states will talk about migration on Thursday evening at a scheduled evening dinner.

Commenting on the upcoming EU Council Summit n 28-29 June, the source said Germany’s position has not changed, meaning Chancellor Angela Merkel will push for the solidarity principle and a fair contribution among member states.

The German MEP shared this point of view by insisting that one cannot expect Italy and Greece to process and accommodate all the people who arrive on their islands by themselves while other countries simply ignore the situation.

The German governmental source said it was all about finding the right political frame, stressing that all member states do agree that the Dublin system needs to be reformed.

“It is in the interest of all member states,” it said.

Regarding the issue of bilateral agreements between European and migration countries, the source pointed out that a number of European countries already have some sort of agreements of this kind. “It’s mainly administrative cooperation,” the source specified.

The disembarkation issue…

The EU is considering setting up so-called disembarkation platforms outside the continent to process migrants.

“There is a consensus among member states that this shall be done in cooperation with the United Nations refugee agency and the International Organisation for Migration,” the German governmental source continued.

For Ska Keller, this is a no-go issue.

“This is a proposal that goes against human rights,” she said.

“Where will these disembarkation platforms be, somewhere in the desert? We cannot outsource our responsibilities to protect those in need to other countries with terrible human rights records and a history of torture or enslavement, like Libya,” the MEP added.

…and the Bavarian “master plan”

While the German governmental source was careful not to comment on the political feud between the CSU and the CDU, the two conservative parties that are currently part of the governing coalition in Berlin (alongside the social-democrats), Ska Keller criticised the political manoeuvers coming from the southern state of Bavaria.

“What we are seeing right now is a Bavarian regional party blocking the whole EU agenda, only, it is not about content, it is about a power play, which brings Europe in turmoil,” she said.

The German MEP underlined that the so-called masterplan on migration, on which Interior minister and head of CSU Horst Seehofer is basing his argument, has only been seen by Angela Merkel and Alexander Dobrindt, head of the parliamentary group CSU in the German parliament.

“Even the general secretary of the CSU party, Markus Blume, did not see it, even though he went on saying that he approved this master plan,” she explained, calling the current political situation totally ridiculous.

“The CSU shows no sense of responsibility. The elections in Bavaria are in October. And this is already happening in June, so I am really afraid,” she said.

“The CSU seems to just want to get rid of Merkel and no matter the agreement the member states might reach at the end of the summit, they will never agree with it,” the German MEP said.

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