Press Release: Office of Jean Lambert MEP

4th September 2006



As the European Parliament Civil Liberties Committee today vote on a new report resulting in a Parliament Delegation visit to the Canary Islands, Green MEP and rapporteur Jean Lambert warned that shutting the doors to the EU would simply miss the point on migration.

Speaking before the vote Jean, who visited the migration centres in Tenerife and Fuerteventura earlier this year said following this weekend where record numbers of African Migrants had arrived in the Canary Islands it was now more important than ever to address the real issues behind migration.

Jean said; "The sheer scale of those willing to put their lives at risk in attempting to cross to the Canaries highlights the urgency of finding a more comprehensive solution, addressing the root causes of migration. Almost 20,000 people have made the perilous crossing to the Canary Islands this year alone.

"Our delegation found that the Spanish authorities have taken a positive approach to the continuing crisis in working to prevent deaths. However, the EU response has been disappointingly focused on bolstering the defences. Responding to growing migration by tightening border controls in specific locations merely changes the shape of migration flows. The fundamental problem is why people are leaving their home countries and taking such massive risks.

"Any immigration policy that fails to put development at its core is missing the point. We need to give the poor more legal opportunities to work in the EU, as well as developing the local economy in their country of origin."


For more information please contact:
Morwenna Holland, Media Officer
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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.

Delegation to the Canary Islands; The cross-party Parliamentary delegation to the Islands, the next in a series of visits to cross border points in Europe, will go to the Centre Las Raices en La Laguna and the Centre Matorral to meet with the Canarias Government.