EU Humanitarian Visa touted as part of solution to improve asylum-seeker flows

A visa granting asylum seekers international protection could help regulate flows of asylum seekers into the European Union.
Photo credit: Flickr

By Martin Banks

10 Oct 2018

A visa granting asylum seekers international protection could help regulate flows of asylum seekers into the European Union

A legislative initiative calling for a “European Humanitarian Visa” will be up for a vote in the European Parliament’s civil liberties committee today (10 October).

If introduced, the visa would be available at EU consulates and embassies abroad and would allow asylum-seekers to enter the member state issuing the visa with the sole purpose of receiving international protection.


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An estimated 90 percent of those granted international protection in member states have come to the EU via “irregular means.”

“This is designed to help better manage the flow of asylum seekers into the EU, tackle human smuggling and also reduce the horrendous death toll of people who drown en route to Europe from Africa,” a parliamentary source said.

If, as expected, the committee backs the move, the European Commission will be urged to introduce such visas “as a matter of urgency,” the source added.

Parliament President Antonio Tajani, speaking recently at European Development Days, said the EU had “to work with our African partners to address the root causes of migration flows.”

He called for a “true Marshall Plan” in the next EU budget in order to attract investment, infrastructure and to develop an industrial base “while creating hope and prospects for the next generations.”

Tajani said that investing in the empowerment of women and girls by promoting their access to education, finance, jobs, political and social leadership were essential levers for both economic growth and the fight against abuse and social exclusion.

“By galvanising population segments most affected by climate change, the foundations for a more fair and equitable society will be laid,” he added.

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