On the 25th and 26th of October, together with my S&D colleague Thijs Reuten, I visited the EU external borders with Belarus. The trip was organised in light of the grave humanitarian situation that developed over the past few months for asylum seekers who are trying to cross these borders. One day in Poland, one day in Lithuania, trying to take stock of the situation on how migrants and asylum seekers are treated at the border. In order to do so, we met with several human rights organisations, such as the Red Cross, UNHCR, Helsinki Foundation, lawyers, academics, and the Lithuanian Ombudsman.
Speakers from local governments such as Barcelona, Strasbourg and Leuven, NGOs, migrant-led organisations and institutions explored the welcoming nature of local communities and municipalities and discussed how municipalities can be better integrated in EU asylum policy. The conference explored alternatives which can better highlight the crucial role of local communities in EU legislations including through better and simplified access to structural funds and a more active role in the future relocation mechanism.
Here the page of the EUROPE WELCOMES campaign by the Greens/EFA: https://www.greens-efa.eu/en/campaigns/migration
In this written question, twelve MEPs demand the Commission to properly assess the case of refugees illegally deported back to Turkey and the role of Greek authorities in such pushbacks.
In this letter, Tineke Strik shares with Vice-President Schinas and Commissioner Johansson her concerns on the current situation on the Greek islands after her visit to Greece in May 2021 and calls on the Commission to act in order to evacuate the camps on the islands.