Migration will top the agenda this week as EU Parliament Committees meet in Brussels and MEP and Vice-President of the European Parliament, Mairead McGuinness, says the Parliament will be challenged in attempting to respond “fully and urgently” to the crisis.
However, she said that while the crisis is visible on EU borders and in our member states, it is not solely the EU which must respond to the situation, the long term solution requires a global response from developed nations, including the EU, USA and the Arab world.
“Ireland and Europe must show leadership on the issue and must ensure that all those countries in a position to broker a long term solution to the crisis do so.
“This crisis is unprecedented and it’s escalating. It is also being fuelled by those who seek to make huge financial gain in people trafficking without any regard to the wellbeing of those desperate for an exit route either by land or sea. This is a major global crime and a crackdown on it is urgently needed with examples made of those brought to justice.”
Ms McGuinness said the EU tradition of solidarity among member states has been stretched. “We also know that some political forces will use the migration issue to attack the EU itself, which is deeply regrettable. In my view the migration crisis is a deeper problem for the EU than that posed by the economic crisis and it could last significantly longer.
“It is a delicate situation for the EU to help migrants looking for hope within the EU and also reassure EU citizens that the numbers of migrants can be accommodated within the EU.
“A multifaceted, global policy response, involving everything from development, humanitarian, communication, employment and foreign affairs initiatives is required and I believe the European Parliament must and will play its part in this process,” she said.
Ms McGuinness said the Greek situation will also be on the Parliament’s agenda as we approach elections in that country.
And the slump in commodity prices in the agriculture sector will also be high on the agenda as fruit and veg, dairy and pig producers call for action and support.