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The EU and its member states should guarantee Syrian refugees safe entry to the EU and access to fair asylum procedures, says the Civil Liberties Committee in a resolution voted on Thursday. It calls on the EU to go on providing humanitarian aid and support and on Syria’s neighboring countries to keep their borders open. Over 2 million refugees, 76% of whom are women and children, have now fled Syria.

MEPs stress “the importance at this stage of the situation to explore concretely whether, how and when member states could do more to reinforce their protection response to Syria”.

Access to a safe entry and fair asylum procedures

Member states should explore all existing EU laws and procedures for means to give Syrians fleeing their country safe entry and temporary admission to the EU, say MEPs.

Syrians seeking international protection should have “access to fair and efficient asylum procedures”, say MEPs, reiterating the need for more solidarity with member states facing particular pressure to receive refugees.

EU countries are encouraged to make full use of money to be made available from the Asylum and Migration Fund and the Preparatory Action to "Enable the resettlement of refugees during emergency situations".

Resettlement to address “acute needs”

The resolution encourages EU countries “to address acute needs through resettlement”, in addition to existing national quotas and through humanitarian admission.

Temporary protection

The possible influx of refugees into EU member states requires “responsible measures“, say MEPs, who call on them and the EU Commission to work on contingency planning, including the possibility of applying the Temporary Protection Directive, “if and when conditions demand it”.

Under this 2001 directive, which so far has never been triggered, refugees would be granted a residence permit for the entire...

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