PES top priority is saving human lives and preventing further such tragedies. The flow of refugees must be shared between EU Member states on the basis of solidarity. Italy, Spain, Greece, Malta and Bulgaria are not alone. The EU should finally have a truly common migration policy‘. This is what PES President Sergei Stanishev stated opening a PES Presidency meeting today where a special declaration on the issue of refugees was adopted demanding urgent action from EU Member states. The demands will be put forward to the European Council meeting later today.


PES demands include mandating the EU’s border control agency – FRONTEX, to be able to organize rescue operations to save refugees’ lives.


Socialists point out that the Union should step up its cooperation with third countries as part of a joint effort to combat human traffic. PES also insists for the creation of legal and secure passage routes for refugees, easier granting of humanitarian visas and facilitating the reunion of separated families.


As a large part of the refugees do not reach European borders but instead remain in neighbouring countries, socialists demand EU support for setting up refugee camps there as well as providing humanitarian aid.


PES is of the view that there is an urgent need for political stabilisation in Syria and Libya where pluralism, parliamentary democracy and rule of law should be promoted.


Later today Stanishev will gather PES-affiliated heads of states and governments to coordinate their positions ahead of the European Council meeting.