Following the large majority vote of the EU Parliament on a joint resolution over the humanitarian crisis linked to migration in the Mediterranean Sea, Gianni Pittella, president of the S&D Group, said:

“Today, by voting this resolution with an overwhelming majority, the European Parliament shows to be much further along the road compared to the selfishness of some European governments. This resolution, strongly sought after by our group, goes beyond the political differences because it focuses on the common shared necessity to face the immigration issue through a genuine holistic and European approach. The European Parliament has shown the way for the next Commission migration agenda.

“The European Parliament asks first of all to the next EU Council and to the European Commission to establish a binding quota for distribution of asylum seekers; it is not fair that just five member states deal with the 80% of the asylum requests.

“We also call the EU to establish a binding mechanism for solidarity urging member states to make greater contributions to existing resettlement programmes; especially for the states who have not been contributing anything.

“However, to solve the roots of this humanitarian crisis we have to look at Africa with a long-term strategy. As long as millions of African people have no choice but to run away from poverty, dictatorship, war and violence, the migratory flows will never stop. We know it but we still are not doing enough about it.

“Last but not least, the European Parliament asks for the issuing of humanitarian visas at EU embassies and consular offices in third countries using existing legislation. The EU Commission must envisage in the next ‘Agenda on Migration’ legal forms of migration.

“By voting this resolution, the EU Parliament demonstrated to represent not only European people but also European consciousness.”

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