Scotland stands ready to welcome refugees

New migration management proposals, including relocating 120,000 asylum seekers within the EU were outlined by the European Commission and debated in the European Parliament in Strasbourg this week.

The Commission has put forward a package, including measures such as a common European list of safe countries of origin to ensure faster returns of those whose asylum request is rejected, legal migration channels to the EU and proposed a €1.8 billion Trust Fund to help tackle the root causes for migration in Africa.

Alyn Smith MEP, Member of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, once more called on EU Member States to share the responsibility for refugees arriving at the shores of Europe.

After the debate Alyn said:

“The scale, complexity, and urgency of today's humanitarian crises are unprecedented. There is no easy solution and we cannot help everyone but we must do everything in our power to help as many as possible.

“Europe must stand up for its values and live up to the expectations of many European citizens. Instead, we see a commendable action from our German colleagues and sheer panic in the voice of many other European leaders. 

“The European Union is not just about grants, development funds and the single market. It’s about values. This is our chance to show the world that the EU is committed to the principles of liberty, democracy and respect for human rights – the freedoms we all hold dear. While the UK Government struggles to show leadership, Scotland stands ready to offer sanctuary to refugees.

“The Syrian civil war, now entering its fifth year, is the main reason why we see a mass exodus of refugees, until their homeland is safe men, women and children will do anything to find safety. 

“It is also crucial that we enhance our cooperation with accession candidate countries in confronting migration crisis. Unfortunately, news of violence and daily clashes between Turkish army and various Kurdish groups make that cooperation more difficult.”