GUE/NGL abstention largely due to lack of criticism of recent EU-Turkey deal on refugees

Despite the positive points in the Metsola, Kyenge report on 'the situation in the Mediterranean and the need for a holistic EU approach to migration', voted in Parliament today, the lack of criticism concerning the recent EU-Turkey agreement was among the reasons why many members of the group were unable to back the report and abstained.

Italian MEP Barbara Spinelli, the group's shadow on the report, explains: "The report raises a number of positive points with regards to search and rescue, safe and legal access, the temporary protection directive and mutual recognition of asylum decisions."

"There are however a number of negative points that our group cannot support such as paragraphs in favour of readmission agreements, returns, the safe country of origin and the European Coast Guards proposals and the fact that the report does not acknowledge the role played by the EU external interventions in creating the crisis that war refugees are currently fleeing from."

MEP Spinelli continues: "The main reason I recommended our group to abstain was, however, the complete absence of criticism of the recent EU-Turkey deal: a deal deemed illegal even by the UN secretary general's special representative for international migration and development for two fundamental reasons: it promotes collective deportations and considers Turkey as a safe third country."

She concludes: "Our group had tabled three amendments, with a roll-call vote, condemning the agreement: they were voted down with the decisive vote of the S and D group. Other important amendments tabled by our group were rejected, hence the negative vote of many GUE/NGL MEPs."

Source: GUE/NGL