Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2012-05-09-Speech-3-128-000"

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"Mr President, the European economic crisis is not strong enough to dissuade illegal immigrants who risk their lives at sea. Why is this? It is because the difficult situation that they find themselves in here does not compare to the conditions there. Besides that, there is the question of asylum, which transcends and has nothing to do with purely economic situations or situations of another nature. Asylum must always be equal to protection. I welcome Mr Iacolino’s initiative as it is very appropriate and I agree that it should be extended and reproduced every year, but in December. The phenomenon of heading out to sea in spring is not a new one – it is predictable – and, although it cannot be avoided, it can be alleviated. The Member States can control neither the Mediterranean nor the Atlantic front on their own. We need a timetable of solidarity, intelligence and diplomacy to do just three things: firstly, to try to stop them leaving at source; secondly, to patrol, save and help those who have managed to get out; and thirdly, to welcome those who have managed to arrive in decent and humanitarian conditions. There needs to be coordinated action between the Commission, the Member States, Frontex and third countries. These are not easy tasks – I am well aware of that – but we must not hold an untimely debate each year that has limited effectiveness. May I remind you that this discussion began in the parliamentary delegation sent to Sicily and Lampedusa almost six months ago. Then there is the question of the immigrant internment centres and the administrative detention centres, which must, without a shadow of a doubt, improve their reception and residence conditions, and the question of a legal, safe return and resettlement subject to scrupulous respect for human rights. As you can see, what I am telling you is not an issue that affects a particular country: it affects the whole of the EU and we must all make a commitment to providing an adequate response to this humanitarian challenge. We are late in saying this, but it is better to say it than not, and it is appropriate to do so on 9 May."@en1

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