Press release: Parliament presents its proposals to revise European asylum rules

The European Parliament has today adopted its position on the revision of the Dublin Regulation, after a vote by the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Thursday morning. The position was approved with a vast majority. MEP Cecilia Wikström (ALDE/SWE) is leading the revision and urges the European Council to adopt its position so that negotiations can start:

“The European asylum system is one of the key issues determining how Europe’s future will develop. As rapporteur, my goal is to create a truly new asylum system based on solidarity with clear rules and incentives to follow them, both for the asylum seekers and for all Member States.

The new Dublin Regulation must ensure that all countries share responsibility for asylum seekers. Furthermore it must also guarantee that all member states with external borders – the first place of arrival in Europe for most refugees – will take their responsibility in registering all arriving people, as well as protecting and maintaining the external borders of the EU.

It is time to put an end to a system in which refugees are forced into the hands of unscrupulous human traffickers who smuggle them through Europe. I urge the Council of Ministers to take a common position as soon as possible, so that trialogue negotiations can begin and a well-functioning, truly new European asylum system can be put into place as soon as possible.”

For more information, please contact

Sándor Blaskó

Tel : +32 2 283 00 89

Mob : +32 483 04 97 89

Statement on on the situation in Spain and Catalonia

It is time for the EU play an active role in the negotiations between Spain and the Catalonian movement for independence. I am expecting the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, who has so far taken an unacceptably passive role regarding this issue, to strongly condemn the unjustified violence against the citizens who participated in the referendum last weekend. Even though the referendum was deemed illegal by to the Constitutional Court of Spain, the reaction and brutality exerted by the police was disproportional and unacceptable. The conflict no longer concerns independence, but has now become an issue of democracy and human rights.

I am expecting the EU to take on a unifying role and to negotiate between all political parties. It is time to de-escalate the conflict between the government of Spain and the people of Catalonia, who are fighting for independence. Within the EU, we solve our conflicts with dialogues and negotiations.

Today, Wednesday, at 3 PM the issue is debated in the European Parliament.

Video: ALDE #ValuesFirst

The European Union is built on values! The core of the project is democracy, rule of law, international solidarity, collaboration and fundamental rights. These are the building blocks of our collaboration. During the spring’s many elections across Europe, we’ve seen how populists have been trying to fragment and divide our union and communities with their hateful rhetoric. That is why it is so important that we Europeans that stand for openness dare to stand up for diversity, equality, and pluralism. That is how we build a strong Europe together! #ValuesFirst

EP VoxBox Debate on Statelessness

Imagine growing up without a nationality? With the large numbers of refugees in the world, more people than ever find themselves stateless. After our joint committee hearing on the issue last week, I sat down with my colleague Claude Moraes, as well as Chris Nash, Director of the European Network on Statelessness and Melanie Khanna, UNHCR Head of Section for Statelessness, to discuss this important issue.

Hearing those who don’t exist: The fight against statelessness

statelessness_picture

Statelessness will take centre stage in the European Parliament on Thursday (29 June), with two committees turning their attention to one of Europe’s most hidden and marginalised populations, write MEPs Claude Moraes and Cecilia Wikström.

Claude Moraes is chair of the European Parliament’s Justice and  Home Affairs Committee (LIBE) and Cecilia Wikström is chair of the Petitions Committee (PETI).

On Thursday, statelessness will take centre stage in the European Parliament’s LIBE and PETI committees, as its members turn their attention to one of Europe’s most hidden and marginalised populations.

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Press Release Brexit: MEPs want EU and UK to take care of citizens’ rights first

The EU and the UK government should negotiate a deal on the situation and rights of citizens as a matter of urgency and before starting the other Brexit talks, MEPs say.

In a joint hearing organised by the committees of Civil Liberties, Employment and Petitions, most MEPs underlined the “moral duty” to end the uncertainty created for both EU citizens living in the UK and UK nationals in the EU since the June referendum.

The EU should let go of the principle that “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed” in negotiations, because a quick solution for citizens’ rights is a matter of priority. “Let´s do this first”, they concurred.

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Reform of EU Asylum system: Wikström proposes permanent relocation system based on fairness and solidarity

ALDE MEP Cecilia Wikström today presented, at the civil liberties committee of the European Parliament, her report on the reform of the EU asylum rules. Wikström has modified the Commission’s proposal to reform the Dublin regulation that, according to the leading Swedish liberal MEP, is no longer fit for purpose. Wikström’s proposal is based on the following key principles:

•    Automatic registration of all arrivals by Member States with external borders to speed up process and break the incentives for secondary movements
•    A compulsory and permanent relocation system so all Member States are legally obliged to accept asylum seekers and contribute to relieve pressure on frontline countries
•    Removal of pre-Dublin admissibility procedures, so the responsibility for conducting admissibility procedures is shared amongst member states
•    Light family procedure to allow family reunification after assessment of the application
•    Allocation of groups of up to 30 applicants at a time
•    Introduction of an emergency break in the automatic corrective allocation system, which will be suspended if the member state does not protect and manage its external border
•    No opt-out from the corrective allocation system: paying EUR 250.000 per applicant to avoid the accommodation of refugees, as proposed by the Commission, must not be possible
•    Five year transitional period to determine the quotas for each member state based on factors such as GDP and population
•    Faster appointment of guardians for unaccompanied minors read more…