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