World / Europe

All EU states should show solidarity over refugees: Italian MEP

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-09-25 09:21

BRUSSELS - To tackle the refugee and humanitarian crisis, Europe needs to act together with a common policy on migration, member of European Parliament (MEP) Cecile Kyenge said in a conversation with Xinhua recently.

During an exclusive interview with Xinhua, the former Italian minister for integration said countries opposing such a policy were going against EU values such as solidarity and a fair distribution of responsibilities among the 28 member states.

"The EU commission and Parliament have already worked to an agenda," Kyenge said. "We voted, for the first time very fast with an urgency procedure, to overcome the egoism of the member states and oblige them to go further and apply a co-responsibility process."

Kyenge underlined that countries opposing to this common policy must be aware that without EU action, "we are all weaker and solidarity is part of our EU treaties."

A possible solution to the Syrian crisis, Kyenge said, is a diplomatic solution bringing together countries in the area to fight terrorism, for which "we need the full commitment of the international community."

According to her, Europe can contribute in a big way by convening the major actors in and around Syria.

Europe could also help Syria's neighboring countries to lighten the amount of refugees via resettlement programs, she said. "So, diplomatic action, a fight against terrorism and solidarity are the key points."

On Libya, Kyenge stressed the only durable solution would be to form a government of national unity bringing together warring factions in the war-torn nation.

But this must be an internal process where all the tribes can be involved, she pointed out, adding: "Libyans are also searching a credible partner to tackle the migratory crisis."

Kyenge expressed her support for the draft peace deal submitted earlier this week by the UN envoy to Libya Bernardino Leon, calling it "a good solution."

Asked about the role of Germany in the migrant crisis, Kyenge said the country was leading Europe's response. Germany has to act together with all EU states -- both eastern and western EU countries -- to take action not only now but also on the medium and long-term, she said.

On the delicate issue of "economic migrants," the Italian MEP thinks repatriations alone are not the solution.

"If we speak only about repatriation, we will be in a vicious circle where people are no longer following normal, lawful paths but remain in illegal situations," Kyenge said, calling for the issue to be seriously tackled at the global level.

She said the EU proposal to create refugee "hotspots" in Italy, Greece and Hungary would be "a help in the registration process and sorting of asylum-seekers."

"After that, we should also reinforce agencies dealing with asylum such as EASO (European Asylum Support Office) that is handling all EU asylum requests," Kyenge said.

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