The S&D Group is committed to a positive approach on the issues of legal migration and integration, despite rising xenophobia and anti-immigrant rhetoric from the right wing.  We strongly believe that the EU cannot remain silent and watch as tragedies unfold on the high seas in the Mediterranean but must ensure co-operation and solidarity define our policy people in distress receive the protection they need.

Since the start of this parliamentary term, the Group has been reiterating its call for the EU to adopt a holistic approach to migration which covers all of the interlinked elements — from solidarity and sharing responsibility fairly between countries, to tackling criminal traffickers and smugglers, and the role of Frontex and EASO (the European Asylum Support Office).

We want to see the EU:

• develop safe lawful access routes into the EU for asylum seekers and refugees
• ensure the Common European Asylum System is fully and properly implemented
• strengthen and enhance the Common Resettlement policy
• bring a consistent approach to our migration, visa, international development and foreign affairs policies towards non-EU countries
• ensure that money spent on migration is money well spent.

Our ultimate aim is not only to tackle the challenges of ‘irregular’ migration, but more importantly, to take full advantage of the real opportunities that legal migration can bring, both for the countries receiving migrants and the countries they come from. Before the last European elections we achieved a positive result on the Seasonal Workers Directive and we continue to call for new channels of legal migration to the European Union. With this in mind, we want the Commission to be extremely ambitious in its upcoming agenda on legal migration and will continue to support a fair, balanced and human approach to migration in the EU,

Read more 'A common asylum and immigration policy for Europe'