This website is an archive of the work of Marietje Schaake in the European Parliament between 2009 and 2019. Marietje can be reached at

Syrian children in Lebanon

Plenary speech

On 3 October, Marietje Schaake gave a speech in the European Parliament on the war in Syria and the importance of access to education for Syrian children in Lebanon. Please find here the video.

"Mr President, when we listen to the public debate about refugees and asylum seekers in Europe, it would be easy to think that Europe is facing the main crisis, and it also sounds as if the deal or the statement with Turkey – as the unofficial and intransparent deal is now called – is the main solution.

This picture could not be more false, and it only distracts from the urgent need for the EU Member States to do their homework and ensure that our borders are protected and that they develop a common EU position to engage actively with the goal of facilitating a negotiated end to the horrifying war in Syria. As long as Assad’s and Russian planes are bombing residents and homes, people will not return.

Let there be no confusion: it is the Lebanese who have taken extraordinary numbers of people in need. It is the half a million Syrian children who live in an absolute crisis: half of them not enrolled in schools, and girls being particularly vulnerable. I have no illusions about the short- or long-term impact of a lost generation on these people themselves and also on us. We must connect the dots and realise that our fates are intertwined. If we prefer shelter in the region over opening our doors, we must invest in safe, sufficient and accessible education for kids in Lebanon. We cannot afford for Lebanon to destabilise, and it would cause more suffering for children."