A 7-strong delegation of Civil Liberties Committee MEPs will be in Lebanon this week to look into the situation of refugees and resettlement. MEPs will visit refugee camps and meet UNHCR, UNICEF, UNRWA, international NGOs and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) staff working with the refugees. They will also meet representatives of the Lebanese Parliament and Minister for Social Affairs Mr Rashed Derbas (tbc).
The delegation, headed by Civil Liberties Committee Chair Claude Moraes (S&D, UK), will focus on issues related to the resettlement of refugees currently living in Lebanon. The country is currently hosting about 1 million Syrian refugees alone, in addition to the large numbers of Palestinian refugees living in the country for decades.
“Against the backdrop of the worldwide challenges for refugee protection, resettlement has come to the forefront of managing flows of people in need of international protection. With a population of 4.5 million, of which 1.5 million are refugees, Lebanon has surpassed the efforts of the EU in its response to one of the most severe global refugee crisis”, says Claude Moraes ahead of the visit.
“I look forward to leading the LIBE delegation to Lebanon as it will serve as a great opportunity for our members to engage with NGOs, including the UNHCR and the IRC, that are on the ground providing much needed humanitarian assistance, as well as speak with our Lebanese counterparts to get more insight into the policies to support the refugees and facilitate better integration by the Lebanese government”, he adds.
The findings for the delegation will feed into the committee's legislative work in the area of asylum, notably on the proposals for an EU resettlement framework, presented by the Commission on 13 July, which aims to enhance the EU resettlement scheme so it can become a more efficient tool to provide protection to those in urgent need. “As chair of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee I will keep the resettlement proposals as a key priority for our committee to finalise" , Mr Moraes stresses.
Other MEPs on the delegation are Branislav Škripek (ECR, SK), Tanja Fajon (S&D, SL), Frank Engel (EPP, LU), Maité Pagazaurtundua (ALDE, ES), Ska Keller (Greens, DE) and Jeroen Lenaers (EPP, NL).