During the debate on Frontex and the European Asylum Support Office MEPs spoke about solutions to the problem of the influx of illegal immigrants in the Mediterranean, crossing the external borders of the EU, and the visa regime as well as asylum regime for refugees and displaced persons. Head of the Croatian EPP Delegation to the European Parliament, Dubravka Šuica, attended the discussion, highlighting:
˝If we consider events from northeast Europe, between Ukraine and Russia, to Syria and Iraq, North Africa and the latest situation in Greece, the Union must be worried and start looking for solutions. In the case of refugees and displaced persons, I am particularly sensitive to the topic since I come from small country of only 4.5 million inhabitants, in which only 25 years ago there were 550,000 refugees and a further 150,000 had to go abroad. This is why I am concerned about the wave of refugees in the Mediterranean, where southern countries, especially Italy, are particularly affected.˝
After the suspension of the ˝Mare Nostrum˝ action in the Mediterranean by the Italian authorities because they could no longer finance the daily influx of immigrants, management of the action was taken over by the European Union through the ˝Triton˝ action coordinated by an European Union agency - FRONTEX.
˝I support that the crisis areas are resolved through diplomatic channels, and that we strive to reduce crisis hot spots and thus reduce the flow of refugees. Of course it's not easy, but Member States have intelligence mechanisms that they should use and they should communicate better. However, when it comes to Frontex, all members are expected to contribute funds, not only Italy and southern states that feel the most pressure. Croatia, given its geopolitical position, must also be prepared to accept possible refugees,˝ concluded Šuica.
It is worth noting that illegal immigrants come into the EU via smuggling channels and are often victims of trafficking, and only last year more than 3,000 people died in the Mediterranean.
Video in Croatian language: