Olivér Várhelyi, European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, and Kinga Gál, an MEP of Hungary’s ruling Fidesz party, addressed a debate at a plenary session of the European Parliament about a report on human rights protection and the EU’s external migration policy, in Brussels on Tuesday.
The principles of the EU’s new migration package are clear, Várhelyi said in the debate, adding that the EU aimed to strengthen its partnership with third countries outside the bloc and promote the rights of immigrants entering its territory in a sustainable way.
“These components form an integral part of the migration package submitted by the commission in Brussels last September,” he said, underscoring a continued cooperation of the European Commission with the EP in ensuring transparency and seeking out sustainable solutions for migration-related issues.
Kinga Gál said the report failed to address either the issue of eliminating the root cause of migration or the issue if improving living conditions in countries where migrants are coming from.
“Further, it criticises the EU’s agreements with countries outside the bloc in connection with returning migrants to their country of origin,” Gál said, adding that “the report would make their future operation impossible with excessive monitoring mechanisms”.
The MEP said promoting illegal immigration into Europe, assisted either by people smugglers or refugee boats operated by NGOs, was “a punishable irresponsibility”.
A solution, she said, was to provide help and safe living to potential migrants in their country of origin.
“It must be prevented that whole generations leave their homes, and providing help to them where they live can be a sustainable solution,” Gál said, noting Hungary’s prominence in those efforts with its Hungary Helps humanitarian aid programme.
A vote in the EP on the report is scheduled for Wednesday.
featured image: Kinga Gál in 2017; via Lajos Soós/MTI