MEPs advocate special visa program for Afghan women

MEPs on Thursday called on the EU to set up a special visa program for Afghan women seeking to escape the Taliban regime.

In a resolution adopted by 536 votes in favor, 96 against and 50 abstentions, they call on “the European Union and its member states to work together to facilitate the evacuation of EU citizens and Afghans in danger, in particular by means of of secure corridors ”.

No forced return to Afghanistan

The European Parliament “welcomes” the organization by the European Commission of a forum at the end of September on Afghan refugees and considers that “the Union’s strategy should provide as a priority for the generalization of the resettlement of those most in danger. and the most vulnerable, as well as other complementary avenues, such as the granting of humanitarian visas and a special visa program for Afghan women seeking to escape the Taliban regime ”.

It “urges Member States to re-assess in light of the latest events pending asylum requests and recently received requests, including rejected requests” and “stresses that there must be no forcible returns to Afghanistan, whatever the circumstances ”.

No Taliban “political recognition of leaders”

At a meeting at the end of August, the interior ministers of the 27 EU countries agreed to support the neighboring countries of Afghanistan for the reception of refugees, fearing a migratory influx to the EU comparable to that from 2015.

MEPs also recognize that operational contacts with the Taliban government “are necessary for logistical, operational and humanitarian reasons, in order to provide humanitarian aid to civilians in need and to allow safe passage for foreign nationals and Afghans who seek to leave the country ”. But they stress that “these contacts should remain strictly limited to the relevant objectives at this stage” and “that the conditions are not met for the political recognition of the de facto Taliban leaders”.

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