CONCORD Europe director Seamus Jeffreson and CONCORD members Ester Asin (Director Save the Children EU office) and Sendrine Constant (Terre des Hommes Delegate for Eastern Europe) discussed with European Parliament (EP) President Martin Schulz the EU’s role in tackling the ongoing crisis related to refugees and migration.

In the meeting CONCORD shared the experiences if many of its members on the frontline supporting refugees. We also underlined the need for the EU to tackle the root causes of forced migration and displacement through a coherent approach using the different policy instruments available while upholding basic human rights and meeting Governments’ legal obligations under international treaties.

The EP president has been very active on the migration issue and recently returned from the Valletta summit and a visit to the Greek island of Lesvos. He shared his assessment of the situation and re-affirmed his recognition for the work of citizens and civil society organisations across Europe.

CONCORD delegates emphasised the importance of respecting the rights of the child regardless of his/her migration status and preventing acts of violence against the most vulnerable. We called on the EP President to join us in encouraging engagement of civil society organizations in building responses, developing comprehensive plans, the delivery of services, and the opportunities to keep governments and various actors accountable and monitored, in respect of human rights and rule of law.

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Martin Schulz meets with a delegation of CONCORD. Photo: European Parliament

We also discussed budgetary aspects of the crisis as the European Parliament is the budget authority of the European institutions. We highlighted the growing and worrying trend of governments diverting aid to in-Europe refugee costs and the need to maintain aid spending to tackle the root causes of forced migration and displacement and investing in inclusive development.

The CONCORD delegation also very briefly discussed the importance of addressing the new SDG Framework as a universal Framework and the role of the EU institutions, including the EP in ensuring an ambitious EU implementation strategy across different thematic committees. The role of the European Parliament as a link to voters was also underlined.

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