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Dennis de Jong calls for intelligent EU migration policy

31 August 2010

Dennis de Jong calls for intelligent EU migration policy

Dennis de Jong at the opening of the exhibition

At the opening of the exhibition 'On the line - Cases of Global Migration' by journalist-photographer Piet den Blanken, SP-Euro-MP Dennis de Jong launched a stinging attack on the EU's one-sided approach to the problem of migration. At the exhibition refugees, legal and illegal workers from throughout Europe and beyond are portrayed at the EU's borders. In his address opening the event, De Jong said “ever since the mid-1990s the European Commission has recognised that there is a need for a comprehensive solution to the migration problematic. In practice, however, all efforts have been directed at the strengthening of border controls. That's short-sighted and leads to degrading situations.”

Dennis de Jong speaks at the opening

For these reasons Dennis de Jong used his speech to propose three solutions which would put a humanitarian approach at the centre of the serious problems in relation to refugees in particular. Firstly, emphasis should be placed on economic assistance from Europe, especially for West Africa. “I'm not thinking here of all sorts of development cooperation projects but of practical support in the establishment of economic cooperation between countries in West Africa.” he said. Secondly, effective agreements must be drawn up with North African countries regarding humanitarian aid to refugees at sea, with the possibility that they can claim asylum in North Africa. Lastly, the different labour inspectorates must cooperate more effectively in enforcing decent working conditions for migrants who come in search of work. Labour inspectors must increase the frequency of their shop-floor inspections. “And I also want at last to see real action taken against employers who exploit illegally employed workers,” says De Jong. “European labour inspectorates must improve their exchange of data on wrongdoing firms and bogus employment bureaux so that these criminals aren't driven out of one country simply to exploit people elsewhere.”

Cornelia Ernst, MEP for Germany's Die Linke (The Left)
Cornelia Ernst, MEP for Germany's Die Linke (The Left) speaks at the opening. Visitors look at Den Blanken's photos
Visitors look at Den Blanken's photos Piet den Blanken being interviewed by the Netherlands' Radio 1
Piet den Blanken being interviewed by the Netherlands' Radio 1 The audience at the opening speech
The audience at the opening speech SP members
SP members came all the way from the Netherlands to see the exhibition. Dennis de Jong talking to visitors
Dennis de Jong talking to visitors at the exhibition

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