Statement

EU Commission to announce ‘safe country of origin’ proposal – Hayes

Fine Gael MEP for Dublin, Brian Hayes, has today (Thursday) said that European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker will next week publish a list of safe countries where those seeking asylum in Europe come from may now be refused.

“To date the response of Europe to this crisis has been appalling.”

“Next week in Strasbourg President Juncker will publish a list of countries that are deemed safe to return to. Thousands of genuine people fleeing war are arriving on European shores. There is however a large number of economic migrants that are trying to gain access to Europe. While Europe cannot have an open door policy – it needs to streamline its policy on asylum and provide support for those countries that are on the frontline.”

“One of biggest logistical problems the EU faces is the processing of applications. By identifying genuine applicants it will speed up the process of relocation. By putting in place a new system to return people with the financial support of the EU in a speedy fashion; it may help those countries currently challenged by the crisis.”

“This will not solve the crisis. More needs to be done. The current response to the crisis is not good enough. We need a comprehensive European plan. It’s not good enough that member states have the option whether to accommodate migrants.”

“We need a binding quota system for each member state based on a number of factors such as – GDP, unemployment level and population size etc. Allowing some countries to opt out create impossible expectations for other countries.”

“I believe Ireland should lead by example on this. While I fully accept Ireland role in this is small and is complicated by virtue of a land border with the UK, we need to accept more than the 600 migrants currently provided for.  I believe that a fair binding quota system is the only way to confront this issue. It’s only when all EU Member States play their part that we can begin to solve the current crisis” said Mr Hayes.

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