De Jong demands EU guarantees of humane asylum policy

19 January 2011

De Jong demands EU guarantees of humane asylum policy

Asylum procedures in several EU member states are unsatisfactory, according to the SP in the European Parliament. In some countries there are major problems with reception, and in others problems with the procedure for assessing asylum applications. SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong is therefore asking the European Commission for guarantees that it will not give way to pressure from a number of member states which are unwilling to process reception and application for asylum together. In the De Jong’s view ‘the member states, instead of individual proposals, should deal with the whole package in one go.’

De Jong underlined the importance of the guarantees that he had asked the Commission to give. ‘If it’s agreed that asylum seekers are to be returned to Greece then we must be a hundred percent certain that they will be treated fairly there. As things stand that’s clearly not the case.’

Before today’s debate over asylum procedures even began it had become clear that the right-wing parties in the European parliament were principally concerned by the cost of refugees. De Jong does not see this as a good starting point. “Of course you have to look also at the costs of the asylum procedure but it is our obligation as signatories of the relevant treaties, as well as our moral duty, to receive people coming from war-torn regions, people who have left house and home behind.” De Jong called on his parliamentary colleagues therefore to join him in putting a good system of procedures and reception before a cold approach based on costs.

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