Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2003-10-20-Speech-1-021"

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"Mr President, in recent days, 22 people drowned off a Sicilian island, Lampedusa. They had come from Somalia and paid USD 1 200 each to come and die in an attempt to reach Europe. Since the beginning of the year, 7000 refugees have come ashore on Lampedusa, all fleeing in desperation from places that are not far from Europe. It is a tragedy in which we may well be able to offer nothing more than routine and resignation. At the Brussels Summit, a number of major European countries refused point blank to consider whether European quotas for legal immigration might be appropriate. The Italian Presidency declared that strategic measures combating illegal immigration must be organised at European level rather than Member State level. We agree with that, but we can only lament the fact that the Presidency has not be able to overcome this reluctance and achieve something more effective in the summit conclusions than a study on the relationship between legal and illegal immigration, which will certainly be useful as a study but is a wholly inadequate instrument if Europe is to respond properly to the tragedy."@en1

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