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Migration and refugee crisis in Europe: for a comprehensive humanitarian and political response

“The refugee crisis is not merely a European problem and requires urgent and comprehensive solutions. Only concerted comprehensive action with a range of measures geared to the countries of origin, transit and destination will be successful,” said Pedro Agramunt (Spain, EPP/CD), at the opening of a current affairs debate on “A comprehensive humanitarian and political response to the migration and refugee crisis in Europe”. “Co-operation with the Arab League and the African Union is crucial in that regard,” he added.

Addressing also the Assembly during the debate, the President of the Italian Chamber of Deputies Laura Boldrini said that the current migration crisis in the continent “is a European problem which no single State can address alone”.

“It is now time to act, and to do so in a united manner. The EU is taking steps towards a real common asylum policy. And the European Commission is striving to make sure that the EU member States recognise the need to share responsibility for hosting refugees,” she added.

Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland said during his intervention that Europe has faced deep refugee crises before, and cited the arrival in Austria in 1956 of 200 000 refugees. “Europe was at that time much poorer and less organized. But we did it. Why can’t we cope with this problem today?”