Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2009-05-06-Speech-3-329"

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"Mr President, I would like to congratulate the rapporteur, Mrs Hennis­Plasschaert, on her willingness to enter into dialogue and negotiation on this report. I would remind you that asylum is a moral duty for the more fortunate countries. We must not forget that, despite the serious economic circumstances that we are experiencing now, solidarity is an essential element that must govern our policies on asylum and immigration; solidarity with those who, with good reason, ask for our protection, and solidarity with those of our Community partners who, through their geographical circumstances and their size, are faced with the greatest migratory pressures. In this sphere, the ‘asylum package’ is an instrument that is both necessary and crucial for the future development of immigration policies in the European Union. However, I would like to point out that measures as important as those that we are dealing with today require more time for reflection and consideration; the tight margin for manoeuvre that we have had as a result of the deadlines imposed is totally inadequate. The proposal contains several aspects that will certainly need to be reviewed in the near future. I am referring to the situation of asylum seekers, the cases in which they may be detained, the fundamental difference between the concepts of ‘custody’ and ‘detention’, the facilities in which they may be detained, the formulation of exceptions to transferral, the existence of exceptions to the general principle establishing which country is responsible for considering the application, the specific details of who forms part of the ‘nuclear family’, and the assistance that ought to be given to Member States having to deal with a greater weight of applications. Despite these questions and in view of the speed with which we have worked, we can say that, in general, a balanced report has been adopted. This is a balanced package which reflects the majority of my political group’s concerns, particularly those aimed at guaranteeing the rights of people seeking international protection and those designed to support those Member States that have greater numbers of international applications. I would like to conclude by reminding you that the right to effective legal protection is a fundamental right enshrined in European constitutions and, specifically, in Article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. The judiciary ought therefore to be the highest guarantor of the individual rights of people seeking international protection; to achieve this, it will be necessary that applicants who might require it are provided with legal assistance. Mr President, I will end by urging the need for the European Asylum Support Office and the aid that may be granted through the European Refugee Fund."@en1

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