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Minister Flanagan speaks on migration in the Dáil

Speaking on Migration in the Dáil, Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade., Mr. Charlie Flanagan, TD, says EU must intensify efforts to end conflicts in Syria, Sudan and Libya.

  • EU-Turkey agreement alone will not resolve the crisis but should stop people getting into unsafe boats and risking their lives.
  • Ireland will co-facilitate a major UN summit on migration and refugees in New York in September

The Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade, Mr. Charlie Flanagan, TD, speaking in the Dáil this afternoon, said that the migration crisis facing Europe is not over. Addressing the external dimensions of migration, he said the EU must intensify efforts to end the conflicts in Syria, Sudan and Libya that are forcing desperate people to flee their homes.

Minister Flanagan stated:

When dealing with this crisis I strongly believe that we must keep the migrants themselves at the centre of our thinking. These migrants have felt compelled to flee their countries because of conflict and violence. We must therefore, as an international community intensify our efforts to bring these conflicts, particularly the conflicts in Syria, Sudan and Libya to an end."

Speaking about the impact of last month’s political agreement between EU Heads of State and Government and Turkey, Minister Flanagan said:

The migration crisis has for the time being moved off the front pages. However, the crisis is anything but over. It is highly unlikely that the EU Turkey agreement alone will resolve the crisis. It will not stop people leaving Syria and it will not prevent people from wanting to come to Europe. But it should help to manage the flow of asylum seekers more effectively, more humanely and more fairly. Critically, it should stop people getting into unsafe boats and risking their lives.”

Commenting on the impact of the crisis on the EU, Minister Flanagan aid that:

It is not an exaggeration to say that the migration crisis has in the past year convulsed the EU, and at times threatened the solidarity which is its hallmark.”

Minister Flanagan noted, however, that irregular migration, is not solely, or even primarily, a European issue, it is a global challenge.

The global migration crisis is, therefore, being addressed at the United Nations as a matter of the highest priority. Ireland was invited to co-facilitate with Jordan a major UN summit of world leaders on migration and refugees in New York in September. The summit at Heads of Government level will try to agree a new set of global policy principles the first of this kind - on migration and refugees.”

Minister Flanagan welcomed the Summit as an opportunity for countries of origin, transit and destination to reach agreement on a way forward.


Press Office
28 April 2016