Tackling the asylum crisis: Europe still lacks ambition

12 April 2016
Tackling the asylum crisis: Europe still lacks ambition

The European Parliament has approved of a series of recommendations that are to be part of a so-called holistic approach towards the asylum crisis. “However, the European Parliament still shows too little ambition and still has not proposed a truly comprehensive approach. Moreover, the focus is still not on stemming the flow of asylum seekers into Europe, which is why I have proposed ten alternative recommendations in my position as a shadow reporter for the ECR The N-VA is a member of the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR), a conservative, eurorealistic parliamentary group in the European Parliament. The N-VA shares their realistic view of the European project and also advocates for the correct and intensive application of the subsidiarity principle. For example, we must not be afraid to ask ourselves if it would be better to leave certain European initiatives to the Member States. The N-VA also identifies with the emphases that the ECR places on the social-economic issues. Since the 2014 elections, the ECR has become the third largest parliamentary group in the European Parliament. ECR group. These draw a clear distinction between economic migrants and refugees,” European Parliament member Helga Stevens responds.

“A ceiling on refugee intake has remained conspicuously absent from European Parliament proposals,” Helga Stevens confirms. “In addition, not a trace is to be found of quicker registration procedures, nor of an effective return policy. I wonder if the majority of European Parliament members have any sense of reality in connection with the asylum situation.”

Missed chance

The recommendations don’t reference a clear future perspective for asylum seekers receiving shelter in Europe either. Stevens sees this as, “Yet another missed chance”. “Parliament still fails to acknowledge the absolute necessity of a full-fledged integration and activation policy. It would be better if it did, as much for the receiving society as for the asylum seeker. Coupled to an upper limit for asylum seekers, this should protect and strengthen the social fabric of our metropolises.”

Too non-committal

That’s why Helga Stevens also voted with three of her N-VA colleagues against the unworkable recommendations, but also immediately proposed a series of alternative asylum priorities. “They focus on making the flow of asylum seekers to Europe manageable. Moreover, sanctions are connected to EU member states who fail to shoulder their asylum responsibilities. The entire European asylum policy is still too non-committal, for the asylum seeker as well as for the member states,” she states regretfully.

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