Flight from North African unrest: a long-term solution needed

MEPs believe that the EU-Libya cooperation agreement on migration - currently suspended - should be reinstated as soon as a new transition government able to respect human rights is in place. This move as well as measures to fight unemployment in migrants' countries of origin and of transit were highlighted on Wednesday in a draft resolution by the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee as the best ways to tackle illegal immigration from conflict regions.
Regretting that "the only option available" was the suspension of the EU-Libya Cooperation Agenda on migration, MEPs stress that the suspension "should be revoked as soon as there is a new transitional government willing to promote a democratic and human rights based implementation of the agreement". Similar migration agreements should be reached with other EU neighbouring countries, said MEPs in the draft resolution, which was adopted by 53 votes to 1, with 3 abstentions.
The resolution also calls for the EU budget after 2013 to provide for "emergency and recovery funds": a rapid response to provide relief and assistance for migrants in distress, as well as shelter in the EU for human rights defenders at risk.
MEPs argued that a single country like Italy, let alone Malta, could not be expected to cope with the arrival of thousands of illegal immigrants fleeing from the humanitarian crisis in North Africa? They believe the Council should put in place a burden-sharing Action Plan to help resettle refugees from the region and provide support for displaced persons.
The only effective long-term solution for preventing a mass influx of migrants from unstable regions is to create new jobs and improve living conditions directly in the countries of origin and transit. EU foreign policy needs to dovetail with EU policies on migration, emphasise MEPs. They propose that EU funds be targeted - in countries of origin and of transit - at long-term projects to create jobs, support SMEs, provide microcredit facilities, empower women and minority groups and maximise local economic development. (ENPI Info Centre)
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Press release
ENPI Info Centre – EU launches mission to help manage migration wave from North Africa
ENPI Info Centre webpage – migration

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