PN Member Frank Engel Heads EP Delegation to Refugee Camps in Bulgaria

Harmanli Refugees Camp, Bulgaria, November 2013.

A delegation from the Civil Liberties Committee of the European Parliament was in Bulgaria from 20 to 22 January 2014 to assess the situation of asylum seekers and refugees, in particular from Syria.

"Reception conditions in Bulgaria are improving in line with European and international requirements. The migratory influx into Bulgaria has lessened, but as it is impossible to predict future evolution of crises and wars, we call on the Bulgarian authorities to increase their capacities for reception and processing of people requiring international protection", said the head of the Civil Liberties delegation, Frank Engel (EPP, LU). At the same time, Bulgaria needs support from the other EU Members States: “Bulgaria is at the forefront to face the flow of migrants coming from Syria, and the MEPs think that Bulgaria should not take on this burden alone. Solidarity is a fundamental value of the European Union and therefore, Bulgaria cannot be held responsible to fulfill this role all alone. The problems have to be shared among all Member States”, says PN Member Frank Engel.  

The delegation visited Voenna Rampa reception centre, Harmanli reception centre and Pastrogor transit centre. They also held meetings with Bulgarian authorities, including the Minister of the Interior, members of the Bulgaria National Assembly, the President of the State Agency for Refugees, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) representative and several organisations operating on the ground, such as the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee, Médecins Sans Frontières, the Council of Refugee Women in Bulgaria and the Red Cross.


Source: Press release from the European Parliament.

Photo by UNHCR Photo Download.

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PN Member Frank Engel has been Member of the European Parliament since 2009. His is serving as Head of the Luxembourgish delegation to the European People's Party (EPP), and member of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) and substitute member of the Committee for Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO).

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