Refugee crisis needs a common EU approach based on solidarity

UN Relief and Works Agency is absolutely vital for Palestinian refugees say S&Ds

During today's conference in Thessaloniki on the need for a truly European solution to the refugee crisis based on the principle of respect for fundamental human rights, the president of the Global Progressive Forum S&D MEP Enrique Guerrero Salom said:

"Our duty is to promote a common progressive approach to the refugee and migration crisis based on respect for human rights and solidarity between EU institutions and member states.

"I express my gratitude to the Greek people and authorities for their efforts and democratic approach to this humanitarian crisis. EU member states must now take up their responsibilities in a spirit of solidarity for accelerated and steady relocation from Greece and Italy. We must urgently find solutions especially in terms of relocation and integration.”

European Commissioner for humanitarian aid and crisis management Christos Stylianidis said: 

"With a budget of €250 million, this year our focus is on two key objectives: to move refugees from camps to rented accommodation and to move away from catering to a cash system and communal kitchen facilities.

"Our commitment is to continue helping the Greek authorities in their response to the refugee crisis. We will continue to provide our assistance to those who need it most, in a neutral and impartial way."

S&D MEP Miltos Kyrkos said:

"Today we express our solidarity with the Greek citizens, with the local and regional authorities, with the efforts of the Greek government. But we must push for relocation to continue, for the Dublin regulation to take into account the realities of the present circumstances and for an initiative to lower tensions with Turkey. The precious agreement gives us time to breathe, but we must use this time wisely."

S&D MEP Eva Kaili said: 

"Today we had an excellent discussion on the safety of our borders and the integration of the refugees that the EU can accommodate and welcome. Our priority is to protect the children, especially the unaccompanied ones, while maintaining a balance in our priorities and supporting the Greek and European people living in extreme poverty, since countries like Greece and Italy have been guarding the borders for many years and the resulting cost of the migration crisis is unbearable. We need to exchange best practices and form a holistic strategy to face the crisis."