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PACE delegation visits Lampedusa to assess situation of ‘boat people’

Strasbourg, 18.05.2011 – A five-member delegation of parliamentarians from the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) is to visit the Italian island of Lampedusa on 23-24 May as part of its assessment of the large-scale arrival of irregular migrants, asylum seekers and refugees on Europe’s southern shores.

The cross-party delegation will aim to evaluate the challenges faced by the Italian authorities and those of the local Lampedusa community in receiving large numbers of “boat people”. The parliamentarians will analyse the reception conditions and treatment of the arrivals, and will discuss recent reports that appeals for rescue from some “boat people” heading for Europe have been ignored, leading to many avoidable deaths.

The delegation will also be looking how far other EU countries could and should share responsibility for dealing with these large-scale arrivals, ahead of two major plenary debates on these topics during the Assembly’s summer session (20-24 June 2011).

The members of the delegation are:

– Christopher Chope (United Kingdom, EDG), Chair of the Migration Committee
– Giacomo Santini (Italy, EPP/CD), First Vice-Chair of the Migration Committee
– Tineke Strik (Netherlands, SOC), Chair of the Sub-Committee on Refugees
– Tina Acketoft (Sweden, ALDE)
– Annette Groth (Germany, UEL)

Contact: PACE Communication Division, tel: +33(0)3 88 41 31 93