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Refugee Crisis – All must take their responsibility

The President of the Party of European Socialists (PES) Sergei Stanishev said, following the PES Prime Ministers’ pre-Council meeting:

"European Socialists and Democrat leaders welcome this summit which provides an important opportunity to tackle the refugee crisis currently affecting Europe and neighbouring countries. Today European Leaders should show the true meaning of the ‘Union’ based on solidarity and responsibility. EU values are non-negotiable, and must be respected by all Member States. In this regard, I am very concerned by the declaration of the Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic Robert Fico regarding differential treatment of refugees based on their religion. This is in breach of our fundamental values.

The outcome of this meeting must provide Europeans with concrete answers to the big questions that the refugee crisis has brought up. When we speak of the important issues of relocating refugees across EU Member States, and dealing with asylum claims in ‘hotspots’ near our borders we speak of people’s futures, and these are not issues that can wait.

European Member States must take their fair share refugees arriving at our shores. We propose that the cost of hosting them - such as providing housing, education and services – should be deducted from the excessive deficit procedures under the Stability and Growth Pact. The EU should support countries that are living up to their humanitarian responsibilities.

Our political family is determined that in the long term we should take a wider approach, not just dealing with those who have the resources to land on our shores but also looking at the global push and pull factors which drive this crisis. The EU and its Member States must increase our financial support to UN agencies and host countries, and step up our development efforts. The Valletta Summit, at which European Social Democrat leaders will also meet, will look at ways to do that.

I also want to support the calls for a Global Conference to tackle the refugee question. Additionally, the PES is also organizing a high level conference on refugees in Beirut, Lebanon on October 31."

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