Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on European Affairs Timmy Dooley has said the global outrage being expressed about the shocking image of a drowned Syrian child in Turkey should act as a real wake-up call for EU.
Deputy Dooley is concerned about a growing paralysis in the European Union over the worsening humanitarian crisis. He said: “The lack of action at EU level is very worrying and I warned the situation would become overwhelming for many countries when I witnessed the scale of crisis in Calais three weeks ago.”
“The lack of a co-ordinated EU response is leading some countries to pursue unilateral actions to deal with thousands of refugees and Ireland is failing to show an leadership on the issue.
“The French President Francois Hollande is holding an emergency cabinet meeting on the migrant crisis this afternoon, the European Council President Donald Tusk is meeting with the Hungarian prime minister, and Ireland appears to be doing next to nothing to respond to the humanitarian crisis. We need a co-ordinated EU response and I have been urging the Irish government to do much more on the issue.
“I have called for a national forum on migration in Ireland and an emergency EU summit to co-ordinate measures to be implemented across member states. The European Council president Donald Tusk has said the crisis has caused a divide between the east and west of the EU, with some wishing to contain immigration and others wanting “solidarity”. I believe a ‘Solidarity Summit’ of member states is essential to tackle the crisis.
“There is no doubt some countries are now moving to contain what they say is a wave of migration. The reality is this is a humanitarian emergency affecting thousands of refugees and the lack of a co-ordinated, strategic response from the EU is hampering the effectiveness of help for people fleeing war and civil unrest.
“I am extremely disappointed by the government’s lack of leadership on this issue. Ireland can play a leading role in driving the European response but is failing to step up to the mark. It’s not too late for the Government to press this matter with European colleagues and get real progress going on a co-ordinated response.”