On Monday 12 October the 14th meeting of the Network of national parliamentarians charged with European Affairs and members of the EPP Group in the European Parliament took place. The main topic of the meeting was 'The current state of play of migration in the EU'.
Need for a common European approach on migration
EPP Group Vice-Chair Esther de Lange MEP, responsible for Relations with National Parliaments, said: "This debate is important because it is a European debate based on a European challenge. It is a debate about sending a strong political message back home, to national governments and to our citizens, on the need for solidarity and responsibility. We need to be pragmatic and accept that we have to respond together, united, to this crisis."
We need to be pragmatic and accept that we have to respond together, united, to this crisis Esther de Lange MEP
One of the main conclusions of the meeting was that we need a common European approach, based on full implementation of the existing minimum standards in the Asylum Acquis, with a stronger focus on the external dimension in addressing the causes of migration, including a strengthened European foreign and security policy.
The national parliamentarians and members of the EPP Group discussed concrete and comprehensive European actions, such as implementing EU asylum rules, the EU Action Plan on Returns, an emergency trust fund, creating safe zones and reception and accommodation centres in third countries, swift implementation of 'hotspot' facilities, reinforcing the external borders of the EU and establishing a common European list of safe countries of origin and transit.
In light of the coming EPP Congress in Spain on 21 and 22 October, EPP Secretary General, Antonio López-Istúriz White MEP, emphasised the need for a common European approach on this matter. During the congress, the EPP will discuss its position on migration.