Dáil debates

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

EU Regulations: Referral to Joint Committee


8:45 pm

Photo of Niall CollinsNiall Collins (Limerick County, Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

The motion proposes that Ireland participate in the operational management of the visa information system, the entry-exit system and the Schengen information system. It further proposes that we participate in the elements of eu-LISA that relate to the operational management of Eurodac. Fianna Fáil accepts, in principle, these measures which provide for Ireland's engagement with several systems related to information sharing on non-EU nationals entering the European Union. The visa information system allows Schengen states to exchange visa data. The main purpose behind the founding of the entry-exit system is to register entry and exit data for non-EU nationals crossing the external borders of EU member states. The SIS enables competent national authorities such as the police and border guards to enter and consult alerts.

The Eurodac regulation establishes an EU asylum fingerprint database.

The measures, in combination, allow for the improved, enhanced exchange of visa data with other EU member states; the registration of the entry and exit of non-EU nationals into and out of member states; and the sharing of alerts related to policing concerns. All of the measures appear to be positive and worthwhile. Fianna Fáil accepts that there may be concerns, as expressed in the course of debate, about the sharing of information on migrant refugees and visa holders. It appears that these measures, in combination, do not introduce new barriers to entry or stay for non-EU nationals. They simply provide the tools for better oversight of existing regulations.

We recognise that migration is a complex and challenging issue. Conflict, forced displacement, extreme poverty, smuggling of migrants and trafficking of human beings cannot be solved with a simple remedy, but we believe it is imperative that all countries take a fair and proportionate share of refugees. We believe the Dublin system should be transformed and a legal pathway for migration should be possible. We also agree with the blue card system for skilled migrants. The integration and inclusion of refugees and migrants is essential if we are to successfully tackle the politics of fear that are evident in some countries in the European Union and beyond. They are based on scapegoating others. This is particularly evident in some of the discourse on migration and refugees. The spate of separate attacks in Europe is also being used by those who peddle the politics of fear to scapegoat refugees and denigrate the European Union and the values that underpin it.


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