This position paper contains analysis and recommendations regarding the new EU Pact on Migration and Asylum, announced on 23 September. It aims at bringing the problematic elements contained in the Pact to the attention of policy makers at the European Parliament and the EU Council, and to further develop and promote the positive ones.
Overall, Caritas Europa acknowledges the efforts made to promote a more positive narrative on migration and to strengthen the rights of the child and family unity, as well as attempts to pay more attention to the protection of fundamental rights at the borders. Nevertheless, we regret the continuity with past approaches that prioritise return and migration prevention through enhanced cooperation with countries of origin and transit over provisions to facilitate human mobility. We are concerned that proposals to expand fast track border procedures could come to the detriment of migrants’ and refugees’ rights in practice, as our members have witnessed in the hotspot approach implemented in Italy and on the Greek islands. We also fear that the complexity of the proposed solidarity mechanism and the “return sponsorship” concept will not lead to predictable solidarity and responsibility sharing among Member States on the ground, and will come at the expense of people’s rights and human dignity.
The recommendations that we outline in this position paper aim to preserve and expand access to asylum in Europe, and ensure better and fairer asylum policies, with high procedural standards and safeguards. We hope that the negotiation process with the EU Parliament and the Council will make the Pact more functional and fairer to migrants and Member States alike, in order to avoid the creation of more camps like Moria and more suffering at the EU borders.
Our analysis and recommendation focus on the following elements of the Pact: