Humanitarian visas would reduce refugees’ death toll

Refugees UNHCR.jpg

Refugees and migrants arrive on the shores of the island of Lesbos in October 2015 after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey. © UNHCR/Achilleas Zavallis

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.


Asylum-seekers should be able to request humanitarian visas at EU embassies and consulates abroad, allowing them to access Europe safely, say Civil Liberties MEPs.

With 37 votes to 10 and 3 abstentions, the Civil Liberties Committee agreed on Monday to ask the European Commission to table, by 31 March 2019, a legislative proposal establishing a European Humanitarian Visa. Holders would be allowed into Europe – only to the member state issuing the visa – for the sole purpose of submitting an application for international protection.

MEPs stress that the EU lacks a harmonised framework of protected entry procedures for people seeking international protection and point out that, due to insufficient legal options, an estimated 90% of those granted refugee status or subsidiary protection reached the European Union through irregular means.

Cut the death toll, combat smuggling and make better use of financial resources

According to the committee, humanitarian visas would help to address the intolerable death toll in the Mediterranean and on the migration routes to the EU (at least 30 000 persons have died at EU borders since 2000), to combat human smuggling, and to manage arrivals, reception and processing of asylum claims better.

This tool should also contribute to optimising member states’ and the EU’s budget for asylum, law enforcement procedures, border control, surveillance and search and rescue activities, MEPs say.

They stress, however, that the decision to issue European humanitarian visas should remain a responsibility solely of the member states.

Security screening before issuing the visa

Beneficiaries will have to prove well-founded exposure to or risk of persecution and not be in a resettlement process already. The assessment of the application should not involve a full status determination process, but before issuing the visa, each applicant should be subject to a security screening, through the relevant national and European databases, “to ensure that they do not pose a security risk”.

Quote

Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D, ES) , rapporteur for the proposal, underlined that “after more than four years of very tough negotiations, we have before us a new and possibly last opportunity to approve European Humanitarian Visas. We need to do more to help people in need, as there are currently clearly not enough legal and safe pathways to the EU for those seeking international protection.”

Next steps

This legislative initiative will be put to a vote by the full House in the December plenary session. If adopted by plenary by qualified majority, the Commission will have to give a reasoned reply to Parliament’s request.

Background

Plenary voted in November in Strasbourg on a proposal on humanitarian visas but, due to some confusion during the vote, several MEPs withdrew their voting cards too soon, leading to their votes not being counted. The Conference of Presidents (formed by the EP President and the leaders of the political groups) decided to ask the Civil Liberties Committee to table a new resolution on the same topic.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Estonia is making public transport free

The Japanese idea of ‘chowa’ – and how Asia can thrive in the future

EU tells Britain stay in as long as you wish

No tears for Cyprus in Brussels and Moscow

COP21 Breaking News_03 December: Argentina Accepts KP Amendment

Europe’s poor investment in digital is threatening prosperity. Here’s what its start-ups need

IMF – World Bank meetings: US – Germany clash instituted, anti-globalization prospects visualized

Jean-Claude Juncker and Theresa May at last week’s EU Council. Source: EC Audiovisual Services / Copyright: European Union, 2017 / Photo: Etienne Ansotte

EU leaders open “Phase Two” of Brexit talks and warn Theresa May of tougher times

From UN Assembly podium, Central African Republic leader appeals for lifting arms embargo

Financial abuse of elderly ‘rampant, but invisible’, says UN expert

5 surprising ways digital technology is changing childhood

Does May have enough time in Parliament to table a soft Brexit deal?

UN experts cite ‘possible exploitation’ of workers hired to clean up toxic Japanese nuclear plant

Launch of Pact for Youth: European Youth Forum calls for real business engagement

UN condemns Syrian ‘war on children’ as up to 30 reportedly killed in clashes

MEPs demand end to EU arms exports to Saudi Arabia

The costs of corruption: values, economic development under assault, trillions lost, says Guterres

European Commission: the LED lights of your Audi A6 shall save our planet

Alarming level of reprisals against activists, human rights defenders, and victims – new UN report

Will Western Balkans respond positively to EU initiatives?

If on a summer’s night: is UK businesses’ “new deal” the only key to the “best of all worlds”?

The United States divorce rate is dropping, thanks to millennials

UNICEF urges all countries to provide ‘Super Dads’ with paid leave

Forests ‘essential’ for the future, UN agriculture chief spells out in new report

How the EU sees its own and Russia’s role in Ukraine

Syria: Civilians bear brunt of unilateral sanctions, exacerbating ‘unparalleled suffering, destruction,’ says UN expert

UN global counter-terrorism strategy review an ‘overarching vision for the future’: Assembly President

In DR Congo, UN Security Council says December polls are ‘historic opportunity’ for country

Why CFOs need to rethink what it means to create value

Data exchanges: Strengthening Europol cooperation with non-EU countries

The vicious cycle of poverty and exclusion spreads fast engulfing more children

G20 LIVE: “This was not an attack against France, this was an attack against the universal human values!”, EU President Juncker cries out from G20 in Antalya Turkey

‘Internal security’ or how to compromise citizens’ rights and also make huge profits

The third bailout agreement for Greece is a done deal amid European economies full of problems

MWC 2016 LIVE: 5G to trigger disruption, claim industry leaders

G20 LIVE: Fact Sheet from the G20 Leaders Summit and key outcomes (G20 Antalya 2015 Summary)

Main results of European Council of 18/10/2018

Eurozone business activity again on upwards path

The European Union’s Balkan Double Standard

Towards a tobacco free India

COP21 Breaking News_03 December: Unprecedented Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction to Combat Climate Change

EU: The Member States to pay for national banking problems

Iran nuclear talks’ deadline extended: the match is still open for many

Deaf advocate voices importance of sign languages as UN marks first commemoration

Refugee crisis update: EU still lacks solidarity as Hungary and Slovakia refuse to accept EU Court’s decision

How will the NATO-EU competition evolve in the post Brexit era?

EU members commit to build an integrated gas market and finally cut dependency on Russia

OECD Donor countries need to reform development finance to meet 2030 pledge

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “European unity and cooperation is being called on question”, Vice President Joe Biden criticizes from Davos

“Be aware where you put your I Agree signature on and something else”; now Facebook by default opts you in an unseen private data bazar

Rule of Law: Commission launches infringement procedure to protect the independence of the Polish Supreme Court

Only the Americans are unhappy with the ceasefire agreement in eastern Ukraine

Eurozone: A Sluggish economy offers no extra jobs

UN launches new framework to strengthen fight against terrorism

ILO welcomes new UNDP report that places decent work at the heart of sustainable development

The EU cuts roaming charges further while the UK weighs Brexit impact

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “It is the implementation, Stupid!”, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaueble points the finger to Greece from Davos

Medical students as the critical link to address climate change

What will it take for the world’s third-largest economy to empower women?

Workplace risks: Final vote on protection from carcinogens, including diesel fumes

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s