The resolution followed the Commission’s new package of proposals presented and debated yesterday on the EP aimed at helping address the current refugee crisis. The new migration management proposals include relocating 120,000 asylum seekers within the EU – on top of the May proposal to relocate 40,000 – a permanent distribution mechanism for the future, a list of safe countries of origin to ensure faster returns of those whose asylum request is rejected, and legal migration channels to the EU, were outlined by the Commission and debated in Parliament this morning.

For clear humanitarian reasons, I fully back this resolution. However, we also need a global long term plan regarding how Europe should deal with the flow of asylum seekers. The plan would set a frame for what needs to be done in the coming years. Such a plan would:
–estimate the numbers of genuine asylum seekers that would be arriving in Europe from Syria and other troubled areas in the next three years;
–suggest common accelerated procedures to distinguish them from economic migrants;
–propose clearer methods to ensure their proper reception on arrival;
–suggest EU-level schemes arranging accommodation and daily maintenance;
–propose programmes for their insertion in local communities;
–propose plans for their integration in labour markets without putting European workers and unemployed at a disadvantage;
–estimate the positive contributions which migrants could eventually make to Europe’s economy;
–estimate the costs of the plan over a five year horizon and suggest ways and means for its financing.

Concentrating on the systematic repartitioning of arriving migrants through obligatory quotas among member states is a short term response to a crisis that will persist. It could ultimately backfire.