Compromise on return directive "totally unacceptable"
10/06/2008

For Francis Wurtz, President of GUE/NGL, the agreement on the return directive negotiated between the Council and Parliament's rapporteur - Manfred Weber (EPP) - is totally unacceptable in both form and content".

He added:

"our group rejects the very essence of this directive and will table amendments in plenary aiming to eliminate the articles providing for 18 months' internment in closed detention centres, a 5-year re-entry ban into European Union territory, the possibility of repatriating migrants to countries of transit (such as Libya, where the human rights situation is well known) as well as the repatriation of unaccompanied minors: it is no coincidence that this directive is also known as the 'outrageous directive'."

Italian GUE/NGL MEP Giusto Catania, also Vice-President of the Committee on Civil Liberties, said:

"It is with great concern that we have taken note of the compromise reached between the rapporteur and the Council which aims to bend Parliament's will to that of national governments. Last night's attempted show of strength by the EPP group to prevent the left from submitting its amendments to the vote in plenary is a demonstration of arrogance but is also a sign of fear that this compromise will not hold up: splits are now appearing in several groups and our opposition finally has some chance of winning!"

Parliament must listen carefully to the urgent calls by civil society, churches, NGOs and the governments from third countries where migrants originate from.

GUE/NGL Press
Gianfranco Battistini +32 475 64 66 28
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 842 320
www.guengl.eu

See also: No to Fortress Europe website