human development, social justice and sustainable social systems

EU Pact on Asylum and Migration

Call for a new start

As the European Commission is drafting a new Pact on Asylum and Migration, Caritas Europa joins other civil society organisations in co-signing a statement asking for a fresh start, which moves away from the security oriented approach and develops a rational and rights-based asylum and migration policy.

The statement warns against introducing mandatory asylum border procedures, which undermine access to protection in Europe, disregard procedural rights and lead to massive detention of asylum seekers. Similarly, return policies must be humane and privilege voluntary return.

Instead of introducing new damaging legislative proposals, we call for enhanced compliance with existing asylum law, in order to increase harmonisation among EU Member States and to improve reception conditions, access to registration and procedural guarantees. Inhumane treatment of asylum seekers and migrants, as well as push-backs at European borders must end.

Caritas Europa continues to demand for more humane asylum policies, starting with the overhaul of the infamous and dysfunctional Dublin Regulation, in order to bring more solidarity and responsibility sharing among Member States. Until this happens, Member States should implement the current Dublin III Regulation in a rights-based way that respects the dignity of persons. Family reunification provisions and the sovereignty and humanitarian clauses available in Dublin III should be used to promote the right to family life and to avoid pointless transfers of people, which lead to unnecessary situations of limbo.

Last but not least, there is a need for a large-scale increase in safe and legal channels, so that people fleeing persecution, war and conflict, or who are moving for other reasons, are able to reach safety without having to rely on smugglers. We would also like to see a stronger focus on inclusion in Europe through rights, respect and regularisation. The review of the EU Action Plan on the integration of non-EU nationals is an opportunity to make integration a priority by dedicating enough funding for inclusion in the next EU budget for 2021-2027.

We stress that the Pact is an opportunity for the EU and its Member States to realise commitments made within the Global Compact on Refugees and the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. This means improving policies in Europe instead of externalising responsibilities with deals that undermine the rule of law and human rights, the EU founding values.

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joint statement

ISSUED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH NEARLY 50 CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS

Download full joint statement