De Jong: EU must take action for Syrian refugees

10 January 2013

De Jong: EU must take action for Syrian refugees

SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong is demanding immediate action from the European Union and its member states to help the more than a million people who have fled their homes in Syria. ‘According to the UN Refugee Agency the situation is getting completely out of hand,’ says De Jong. ‘Some groups of refugees, particularly Palestinians who have been residing in Syria, have no access to reception camps in the region. For refugees who can reach the camps, it appears that the most essential items, such as a dry shelter and adequate food and water, are lacking. The EU member states have to date been able to play no role in arriving at a diplomatic resolution of the conflict. If the EU now in addition doesn’t succeed in finding a humanitarian solution to the problem of the refugees, it would be a clear admission of failure.’

Dennis de JongThe SP wants to see action on three points, as De Jong explains: 'First of all I’ve asked the European Commission and the Council to provide greatly increased humanitarian aid. The situation in the refugee camps must be rapidly improved. Secondly, the member states and the EU itself must put pressure on Syria’s neighbours to take in Palestinian refugees, and should also support the UN Refugee Agency’s request for resettlement of five hundred recognised non-Syrian refugees who were already resident in Syria prior to the outbreak of civil war and who come from Afghan war zones. Lastly I’ve asked the European Commission as soon as possible to put forward a proposal for a regulation providing for temporary protection for refugees from Syria who arrive without warning in the member states.’ Because of the appalling conditions in the region it’s to be expected that an increasing number of refugees will be seeking to leave and the member states must be prepared for this.

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