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European Agenda on Migration

Pittella: 'Only together can we face the dramatic challenge of migration to Europe'

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INSEDIAMENTO PARLAMENTO EUROPEOThe drama of migrants looking for a better future in Europe is a challenge for many EU countries: more boats arrived in Italy over the weekend, while four people were found dead trying to reach Spain’s shore; the number of refugees crossing to Greece from the East is growing, and this weekend thousands of immigrants tried to cross from France to England through the port of Calais.  

The president of the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, Gianni Pittella, again called for a European Union comprehensive response: “What else has to happen to convince all the member states of the EU that immigration is a global challenge and needs a united approach to find concrete solutions in terms of welcome and security? Selfishness is negative and useless. There must be a coherent and comprehensive migration policy in the European Union.

“Specific budget and resources should be allocated to this policy, so that a long-term strategy and an effective mechanism can be put in place. And it should cover all aspects of migration: the diplomatic and foreign policy dimension; fighting mafias; controlling EU external borders; providing humanitarian aid; a common asylum and refugee policy and better assistance to those who are already in Europe.

"But so far member states don't seem ready to accept a real EU strategy. The time has come for EU member states to support the Commission in its efforts to give a common and strong answer to migration.

“Only together, going back to our common humanistic roots, can we face the dramatic challenge of migration. It is irresponsible to use the drama of migration to gain votes without any serious proposals and only with scandalous propaganda."

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EU's Michel says #Migration issue a European challenge

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All EU member states should share the burden of tackling the migration challenge, European Council President Charles Michel (pictured) said on Tuesday (15 September), write Angeliki Koutantou and Renee Maltezou.

The migration issue is not just a challenge for some member-states on the frontline but for the European Union as a whole, Michel, who chairs summits of EU leaders, said after meeting Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in Athens.

He also said that “a strong response” was needed on the issue and the EU was working to reach convergence on migration policy.

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EU helps refugees on #AegeanIslands

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The Commission is helping channel further support to Greece to tackle the situation in the refugee camps, thanks to a new offer of assistance from Poland via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. Crisis Management Commissioner Janez Lenarčič said: "Yesterday, Poland offered 156 refugee housing units to Greece. I would like to thank all countries that provided assistance to Greece. We must all do everything in our power to prevent tragedies like the recent fire in the Moria refugee camp on Lesbos, which left thousands of refugees without shelter. These offers are a concrete expression of European solidarity.” 

The new support from Poland comes on top of assistance sent by Austria, Czechia, Denmark, Netherlands, and France sent since April which includes sleeping bags, mattresses, blankets, sheets, toiletries items, four medical containers, and one medical station. Moreover, responding to a previous request for EU assistance in the beginning of March, 17 Member and Participating States offered over 90,000 items to Greece through the Mechanism. The European Union's 24/7 Emergency Response Coordination Centre is in regular contact with the Greek authorities to closely monitor the situation and channel the EU assistance.

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Integrating #Migrants and #Refugees into the labour market: Commission and social and economic partners relaunch cooperation

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The Commission, trade unions, chambers of commerce and employers' organizations are renewing their co-operation to enhance the integration of migrants and refugees into the labour market. In a joint statement issued today, they highlight areas for future focus, and express interest in cooperating further in the area of labour migration under the European Partnership on Integration launched in 2017.

The signatories reaffirm the importance of a multi-stakeholder approach for early integration into the labour market benefitting both refugees and the economy and society at large. A full press release is available online.

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