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The Mediterranean Sea: a front door to irregular migration

Doc. 13942: collection of written amendments | Doc. 13942 | 26/01/2016 | Final version

Caption: AdoptedRejectedWithdrawnNo electronic votes

ADraft Resolution

1The Parliamentary Assembly refers to its Resolution 2050 (2015) “The human tragedy in the Mediterranean: immediate action needed”, Resolution 2072 (2015) “After Dublin – the urgent need for a real European asylum system”, Resolution 2073 (2015) “Countries of transit: meeting new migration and asylum challenges”, Resolution … (2016) on organised crime and migrants, as well as its other relevant resolutions.
2A sharp increase in mixed migratory flows along the eastern Mediterranean from Turkey to Greece since the beginning of 2015, adding to a constant flow along the central Mediterranean route from Libya to Italy, has resulted in an unprecedented migratory and refugee crisis in Europe. An estimated total of 1 million people arrived on all European shores of the Mediterranean in 2015 as compared to 219 000 in 2014 and 60 000 in 2013.
3Regrettably, the number of deaths at sea was growing proportionally until April 2015. The death toll in the first four months of 2015 exceeded 2 500. Despite commendable joint international efforts and large-scale rescue operations launched by a number of countries in May 2015, deaths at sea still occur albeit on a considerably lower scale. According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), approximately 70% of those who arrive can be considered as refugees in terms of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and are entitled to international protection. The majority are Syrians but there are also Iraqis, Afghans, Somalians, Eritreans, Nigerians, Senegalese and Gambians.
4The majority of those now arriving in Greece are people who, at different stages of the armed conflict in Syria, had fled to Turkey, Lebanon or other neighbouring countries where in many cases they had stayed for several years. Turkey alone has been hosting 2 million refugees from Syria. After years of increasing pressure and insufficient international support, the economies of the host neighbouring countries are struggling to cope making it increasingly difficult for refugees to find shelter and jobs and get access to health care and education. This is what pushes them to undertake the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean.

26 January 2016

Tabled by Ms Serap YAŞAR, Mr Talip KÜÇÜKCAN, Mr Şaban DİŞLİ, Mr Suat ÖNAL, Mr Mehmet BABAOĞLU, Ms Leyla ŞAHİN USTA

Votes: 37 in favor 86 against 16 abstentions

in the draft resolution, paragraph 4, replace the words "2 million" with the following words: "2.5 million".

Explanatory note

The aim of this amendment is to update the factual data in the resolution. According to the UNHCR, Turkey is the biggest refugee-hosting country in the world. The total number of Syrians living in Turkey has now reached over 2.5 million.

5The spike in arrivals in Greece and the continuous migratory flows in Italy have put enormous pressure on the reception capacities of both countries. It is clear that neither of them can cope with the migration flows on their own.
6The Assembly is convinced that only a common European response can address the present migratory and refugee crisis. A comprehensive political debate based on principles of solidarity, responsibility and the highest human rights standards (as enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights (ETS No. 5)) should accompany strategic migration management policies at European and national levels.
7In this context, the Assembly welcomes the European Union’s efforts to elaborate a common European response involving internal and external stakeholders, including non-European Union countries of transit and origin. In particular, it looks forward to the implementation of a Joint Action Plan with Turkey. It commends a number of emergency measures put in place such as largely increased save and rescue operations, agreement on the relocation of 220 000 people and the resettlement of 40 000.
8At the same time, the Assembly regrets the absence of a global comprehensive vision of the phenomenon of migration in a modern world including all of its implications and consequences for society. It has to be acknowledged that the challenge largely exceeds the measures agreed upon so far and that there are currently no clear prospects for a sustainable solution.
9The Assembly points out that the debate cannot be limited to the question of quotas and their compulsory or voluntary nature. While it is necessary to address the immediate humanitarian emergency without further delay, long-term measures and solutions should be identified and implemented as soon as possible.
10The idea of identifying people in need of international protection and organising external processing of asylum applications through hotspots set up outside Europe deserves support, provided human rights of refugees and migrants are guaranteed. It would certainly contribute to saving the lives of many potential candidates who would otherwise attempt to cross the sea.

In the draft resolution, paragraph 10, delete the following words: "and organising external processing of asylum applications through hotspots set up outside Europe".

Explanatory note

All procedures related to asylum in Turkey are within the mandate of the Directorate General of Migration Management of the Ministry of Interior. Any proposal regarding "hotspots" is not consistent with Turkish legislation. It is within the sovereign right and responsibility of States to implement asylum and migration policies.

11Tackling the root causes of the Mediterranean refugee and migration crisis is the most important and unavoidable long-term measure. It implies adequate enhanced development co-operation between Europe and countries of origin and transit, including not only considerably increased financial support, but more importantly, viable economic projects which will contribute to sustainable development. The peaceful settlement of the hostilities in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan is a necessary condition for ending the human exodus and making possible the return of refugees to their countries.
12The Assembly calls on member States:
12.1with regard to rescue at sea and lives lost, to:

26 January 2016

Tabled by Ms Serap YAŞAR, Mr Talip KÜÇÜKCAN, Mr Şaban DİŞLİ, Mr Suat ÖNAL, Mr Mehmet BABAOĞLU, Ms Leyla ŞAHİN USTA

Votes: 28 in favor 103 against 16 abstentions

In the draft resolution, before paragraph 12.1, insert the following paragraphs: "with regard to ensuring burden and responsibility sharing: - significantly increase the international aid to Turkey which shoulders the lion share of the influx of Syrian refugees".

Explanatory note

According to the UNHCR, Turkey is the biggest refugee-hosting country in the world. The total number of Syrians living in Turkey has now reached over 2.5 million. I believe it is worth reiterating the Assembly's previous calls to increase international aid to Turkey in this important report.

12.1.1continue search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean Sea on a scale at least as important as at present;
12.1.2create a centralised register and introduce unified procedures for recording and identifying the dead with a view to enabling the tracing of missing persons throughout all European countries;
12.1.3step up investigations and action to disrupt and prosecute smugglers’ networks;
12.2with regard to reception conditions, to:
12.2.1substantially increase specific financial support aimed at the immediate creation of large-scale emergency facilities in Greece and Italy;
12.2.2provide emergency response assistance to Serbia and “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”;
12.2.3support, financially and institutionally, the establishment of hotspots to receive, assist, register and screen arrivals, with a view to identifying those in need of international protection;
12.2.4implement agreements on the relocation of refugees from Greece and Italy to other European countries and put in place a permanent relocation mechanism;

26 January 2016

Tabled by Ms Dana VÁHALOVÁ, Ms Ivana DOBEŠOVÁ, Ms Jana FISCHEROVÁ, Mr Pavel HOLÍK, Ms Gabriela PECKOVÁ, Mr Miroslav NENUTIL

Votes: 44 in favor 90 against 11 abstentions

In the draft resolution, paragraph 12.2.4, delete the following words: "and put in place a permanent relocation mechanism."

12.2.5demonstrate a spirit of solidarity as well as respect for human rights in compliance with the European Convention on Human Rights and the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees with a view to reaching an agreement in the European debate on sharing of responsibilities with regard to migratory flows;
12.3with regard to legal channels of entry, to:
12.3.1increase access to legal migration channels to Europe, including enhanced resettlement and humanitarian admissions, family reunification for the beneficiaries of subsidiary protection and student visas for refugees from countries neighbouring Syria;

26 January 2016

Tabled by Ms Serap YAŞAR, Mr Talip KÜÇÜKCAN, Mr Şaban DİŞLİ, Mr Suat ÖNAL, Mr Mehmet BABAOĞLU, Ms Leyla ŞAHİN USTA

Votes: 25 in favor 105 against 13 abstentions

In the draft resolution, paragraph 12.3.1, replace the words "including enhanced resettlement" with the following words: "adopting more realistic and sustainable resettlement programmes and schemes,"

Explanatory note

The Syrians were forced to leave their country and seek refuge in neighbouring countries. More than half of them are in Turkey. In spite of Turkey's calls for the resettlement of the refugees since the beginning of the Syrian crisis, there has been an inadequate response from the international community.

12.3.2consider the establishment of hotspots and the processing of asylum applications outside Europe with a view to identifying those in need of protection before they undertake a dangerous journey at the risk of their lives;

26 January 2016

Tabled by Ms Serap YAŞAR, Mr Talip KÜÇÜKCAN, Mr Şaban DİŞLİ, Mr Suat ÖNAL, Mr Mehmet BABAOĞLU, Ms Leyla ŞAHİN USTA

Votes: 21 in favor 108 against 14 abstentions

In the draft resolution, delete paragraph 12.3.2.

Explanatory note

The Syrians were forced to leave their country and seek refuge in neighbouring countries. More than half of them are in Turkey. In spite of Turkey's calls for resettlement there has been an inadequate response from the international community. Setting up hotspots outside Europe would not make resettlement more efficient.

12.3.3raise awareness of the situation of refugees and ensure the elimination of all types of discrimination, intolerance or xenophobia against them;
12.3.4reflect on the emerging challenges faced by integration policies which have been confronted with unprecedented numbers of migrants;
12.3.5support grass-roots initiatives in the field of integration and education;
12.4with regard to reducing the incentives for irregular migration, to:
12.4.1align return practices and implement them when appropriate;
12.4.2expand Frontex’s mandate so that the agency can upscale its support to member States in order, inter alia, to facilitate, organise and fund return operations;
12.4.3establish a European border guard system;
12.4.4establish a stronger partnership with countries of departure with a view to preventing irregular crossings;
12.5with regard to addressing the root causes, to:
12.5.1step up development co-operation between Europe and countries of origin, including not only financial support but also economic projects which would contribute to sustainable development;
12.5.2engage in a meaningful and comprehensive dialogue with the African and Asian countries of origin and transit in order to jointly manage migration and asylum flows in a spirit of shared responsibility;
12.5.3make full use of the Emergency Trust Fund for stability and addressing root causes of irregular migration and displaced people in Africa;
12.5.4establish, in co-operation with the UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), multipurpose centres similar to the one which was set up in Niger.