25.04.2018 - 12:01
Clear asylum rules guarantee protection for those in need
The common procedure for granting asylum in the European Union - voted upon today in the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee - is a step forward to ensure a fair and efficient asylum procedure.
Jeroen Lenaers MEP, the EPP Group Spokesman on the new legislation, said: “It has always been our aim to establish quick, fair and efficient procedures, where those that have a right to asylum receive it quickly and those that do not, have clarity about their situation in good time so that the return procedure can start.”
The Regulation will harmonise asylum procedures in all Member States, with a maximum time period of 6 months for regular procedures and a stricter period of 2 months for accelerated procedures in cases where, for example, asylum applicants come from a safe country of origin.
“All asylum seekers will have an obligation to register. In the case that an applicant does not comply with this obligation, the application will be rejected. In essence, this is a crucial piece of legislation in order to combat asylum shopping in Europe”, added Lenaers.
The Report is based on simpler, clearer and shorter procedures; procedural guarantees safeguarding the rights of the applicants; stricter rules to prevent abuse of the system; and harmonised rules on safe countries.
“It is important to discourage asylum seekers from taking dangerous routes to Europe, especially when they had already found safety outside of Europe. In those cases, when a person from a safe third country does decide to travel onwards after having already found safety, Member States will have the possibility to send those applicants back. This has been resisted by a number of groups, but we, the EPP Group, made sure that the rules will be clear in this regard.”
The aim of this Regulation, directly applicable in Member States, is to replace the Asylum Procedures Directive which establishes a fully harmonised common EU procedure for international protection, and provides for a fast, high-quality determination of the international protection needs of applicants.
25.04.2018 - 09:32
EPP Group to double EU spending on cancer
The EPP Group wants to double EU spending on cancer research by 2024, committing itself to fighting cancer.
The biggest group in the European Parliament will present its position paper on cancer today, committing itself to making the fight against cancer in Europe a priority.
"The EPP Group is committed to doing everything in its power to ensure that nobody dies from cancer in the EU 20 years from now. If we are to effectively win this fight, we have to work together. The EPP Group urges the Member States to join forces. Cooperation in the fields of research, prevention, diagnosis and best care are only a few examples of where the Member States should do better. We have the knowledge, we need to exchange it", said Manfred Weber MEP, Chairman of the EPP Group in the European Parliament.
"The number of children suffering from cancer is relatively low but if a child is affected, it is an even bigger tragedy for the family. Because the figures are relatively low, research can only be done if European Member States contribute together to make up a satisfactory number to do the necessary research. This is why we are setting up the mission 'No child should die from cancer in 20 years from now' and for this purpose we want to invest tenfold more money in research against cancer in children”, said Peter Liese MEP, EPP Group Spokesman in the Environment Committee, who worked in paediatrics before entering the European Parliament.
"The real added value of the EU regarding its fight against cancer particularly concerns children, who often face rare cancers. In this area in particular, where research is durable and complex, the EU cannot allow the research to be fragmented", added Françoise Grossetête MEP, Vice-Chairwoman of the EPP Group responsible for Economy and Environment.
"Cancer is not only a medical problem, an issue between patients and doctors. It is also a political and social problem", observed Alojz Peterle MEP, Chairman of the MEPs Against Cancer Group.
The EPP Group now calls on the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Member States to agree to the points listed in the proposed position paper and proceed to action.
25.04.2018 - 09:18
EU should act against mileage tampering on second-hand cars
Today, the European Parliament’s Transport Committee called for resolute action from the European Commission against mileage fraud in Europe. The EPP Group Shadow Rapporteur Georges Bach MEP said: “It is unacceptable that many car buyers all over Europe are still victims of mileage fraud. Considering that the solution only costs a fraction of the economic damage incurred, there is no convincing argument for the Commission not to follow up on our demand for a legal framework to solve this before the end of this mandate. The solutions are there, they have been tested at national level, they are affordable and they work.”
Research on cross-border second-hand car sales shows that up to 50% of odometers were tampered with, with an economic cost for buyers and businesses running into billions of Euros every year. “The costs for consumers and businesses are huge! Car buyers all over Europe could save hundreds or even thousands of Euros per car. This is why we insist on the creation of up-to-date national databases, like the Dutch and Belgian systems, where people can verify mileage data easily before buying a car.”
Bach not only insisted on the economic costs but also on the possible negative effects such as unexpected maintenance and repair costs for buyers resulting from the manipulation of a car's mileage. “This kind of fraud is plainly and simply criminal and can put the lives of car buyers and other road users in danger. This is why we also call on a majority of Member States to make mileage manipulation a criminal offence.”