Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2011-03-23-Speech-3-184-000"

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"Mr President, I think nobody will be surprised to hear me say again that solidarity with refugees and displaced persons should constitute a fundamental element of EU policy in the areas of asylum and immigration. I am finishing, Mr President. Last week I called for a European Parliament presence on Libya’s borders and I repeat that call now. It is not enough for 10 fellow Members to have spent last week in Egypt: we must have the capacity to evaluate the humanitarian situation ourselves. However, it is not just a question of having solidarity with those coming from weak and disadvantaged societies, but also with the Member States that, because of their geographic location, their culture or their language, suffer greater pressure in this regard. While numbers of applications for protection and of immigrants arriving are low in some countries, there are many other countries that are unable to tackle on their own the pressure their borders are subjected to on a daily basis. Following Parliament’s adoption of the reports relating to the Commission communication on the Union resettlement programme and the modification of the European Refugee Fund in May 2010, we are still waiting for the Council to complete the codecision procedure. The pilot projects currently being undertaken in 10 Member States are a drop in an ocean, which we still have to cross. The southern Member States are subjected to great pressure, particularly since the popular movements in Egypt and Tunisia, and the war in Libya, began. Lampedusa, with a population of 5 000, has received almost 6 000 immigrants since the conflicts started. The aforementioned pilot projects are completely insufficient and will hardly do anything to relieve the pressure that is already affecting Italy and Malta, but will affect other Mediterranean countries in the near future. The Union as a whole must help these countries. It is imperative that the Council overcome the obstacles currently preventing the full implementation of a European resettlement programme and defeat the minorities blocking it. Massive population displacements and migrations affect the Union as a whole and not just a part of it."@en1

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