• 29-JAN-2014

  • Brussels, Belgium

  • SOURCE: EPP TV

Fight Illegal Immigration but Defend Free Movement Inside the EU, EPP's Weber says

Fight illegal immigration, but defend free movement inside the EU, EPP´s Weber says
Migration has been a complex and controversial issue for the European Union. Debate has intensified this year, as work restrictions for Bulgarians and Romanians expired. That has sparked fears among some of a wave of migrants from the EU's two poorest countries. The UK has tightened up its welfare system to prevent what some call "benefit tourism." The European Parliament, however, approved a resolution calling on EU governments to respect the freedom of movement as a fundamental right.

Meanwhile conflicts in Africa and the Middle East have sent thousands of refugees to European shores, some perishing in their attempts. Others arrive as economic immigrants. Europe faces the difficult task of determining which are true asylum-seekers and which are illegal migrants.

Another issue: how to assist countries on the front line, receiving immigrants, such as Italy, Greece and Malta. Frontex is one EU program helping in the effort.

And a final issue: Malta's program offering citizenship to those who pay and invest more than a million euros. The EPP Group backed a European Parliament resolution calling on Malta to alter that policy some call citizenship for sale.

EPP Group MEP Manfred Weber, member of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs in the European Parliament, discusses EU efforts to manage migration, defend Europe's borders, and ensure legal asylum and free movement inside the EU as a means of helping people find jobs.