Thank you Mr. President.
We have carefully read the latest report by the Special Rapporteur and we thank him for his presentation.
In recent months, the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine forced around 7 million persons, including women, children and elderly persons, to seek safety in our borders. We are proud of the principled and united response by the EU and its Member States in these unprecedented circumstances. We swiftly activated the temporary protection directive and gave all eligible persons access to the labour market, adequate housing, social protection, health, and education.
While our geographical positions confers us a unique sense of responsibility in this situation, the EU remains a place of asylum for all people fleeing war and persecution, without discrimination of any kind, including on the basis of race, colour, ethnic origin, language, religion or belief, sexual orientation and gender identity, in line with relevant international obligations. We reiterate our commitment to fully respect our obligations under international law and the human rights of all migrants, and we continue to ensure the protection of human rights of migrants and refugees, reaching European borders from all regions of the world, or being rescued at sea. All allegations of mistreatment are taken very seriously and shall be properly investigated by the relevant authorities.
Protecting the human rights of all migrants also crucially means they should not be exploited,. The instrumentalization of migrants and refugees for political purposes, including as witnessed along the EU external borders, is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated in any form. These practices are in breach of international law and often deliberately and inhumanely put the lives and well-being of migrants in danger, including persons in vulnerable situations and children.
Orderly border management in full respect of European asylum law and migrants’ fundamental human rights is key to manage this complex phenomenon in an effective, just and humane way. We will study the recommendation of the report in details, including in the context of the ongoing discussions on New Pact on Migration and Asylum proposed by the European Commission.