Press Release: Office of Jean Lambert MEP

18th August 2006



Euro MP Jean Lambert has today called on the EU Commission to take immediate action on the Canaries 'migrant crisis' following the Island's warning that they can no longer cope with numbers of African immigrants arriving on the beaches.

Jean, who is the Rapporteur on the European Parliament's report on the evolving situation in the Canary Islands and recently visited the centres there, expressed her concern over the rapidly increasing pressure on the Islands. Jean said; "Many young African men are so desperate to find work that they will continue to attempt the crossing to the Canaries even if their lives are at risk. Many of those making the dangerous journey wont survive, but as Morocco expands its border control the Canary Islands has become the new back door to the EU and seems to be their only hope.

"The Spanish Government has been taking positive steps to cope with the high numbers of immigrants arriving on the beaches in a humanitarian way and we welcome that, but as the numbers of immigrants arriving on the islands continues to increase it is vital that we take steps to aid the Spanish authorities.

"We know that the core, underlying issues are to do with development but this will take time to improve. In the mean time I will be pushing the Commission to determine whether they have delivered their commitments and if this really is sufficient."

As part of the cross party delegation to the Canaries Jean met with the Spanish Government to address the developing problems.


For more information please contact:
Morwenna Holland, Media Officer
tel: 020 7407 6280 or 07813149812

Notes to editors:
Jean Lambert: In October 2005 Jean was named MEP 2005 for Justice and Human Rights. Jean was first elected Green Party Member of the European Parliament for London in the 1999 European elections. She was re-elected in 2004. She is one of nine MEPs representing London and one of two UK Green representatives in the European Parliament.