human development, social justice and sustainable social systems

EU Pact: risky elements and positive aspects

On the new EU pact on migration and asylum

Based on our first analysis of the EU Pact on Migration and Asylum, Caritas Europa joins more than 70 organisations calling for its risky elements to be addressed and positive aspects to be expanded.

We welcome the commitment to a more humane approach to protection and the emphasis on the fact that migration is needed and positive for Europe with which the European Commission launched the Pact on September 23. However, this rhetoric is reflected only sparsely in the related documents.

Instead of breaking with the EU’s previous approach and offering a fresh start, the new Pact risks exacerbating the focus on externalisation, deterrence, containment and return. While some positive elements are introduced, they need to be kept, strengthened and properly implemented to have a concrete beneficial impact.

This joint statement outlines specific calls to EU policymakers and Member States to address current needs and emergencies, and sets out some recommendations for the upcoming negotiations on the Pact.

Some of the elements covered by this initial assessment are:

  • New flexible solidarity mechanism, including the introduction of ‘return sponsorship’
  • Expanded use of border procedures, including return procedures and increased detention
  • New pre-entry screening process at the border and fundamental rights monitoring
  • Emphasis on return policies
  • Cooperation with third countries
  • Safe and regular pathways to Europe
  • Search and rescue and actions of solidarity with migrants
  • Inclusion policies

joint statement


Download full joint statement