After the measures taken today by the EU Commission on migration and the European Triton Operation, S&D president  Gianni Pittella, stated:

“Europe has finally started to wake up to the migrants´ tragedies in the Mediterranean Sea. We can openly say that this approach and the comprehensive measures adopted today by the European Commission are a positive first step in the right direction. Europe must deliver on the high humanitarian expectations. Images, like those seen in the Lampedusa tragedy, are a shame for the whole of Europe.

“We welcome the decision to extend, until the end of 2015, the mandate of the Triton operation and its reinforcement of 13.7 million euros. However, to tackle the root causes of the sea tragedies constantly occurring along our European coasts, the EU must realise its pivotal role in securing peace and democracy in conflict areas such as Syria, Libya and Nigeria.

“To this end, all actors of the Mediterranean basin, Turkey included, should openly and constructively join forces to prevent further tragedies.

“Additionally, as stressed by the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, a comprehensive approach should also include a credible number of resettlement places, a reinforced cooperation with third countries along the main migratory routes as well as the fight against criminal networks of traffickers and smugglers, should be put at the heart of the solution and directed at those in need.

“Migration should no longer be addressed as a national problem but as a European opportunity.”

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