EU Pact on Migration and Asylum

Today (September 17), the European Parliament will hold a plenary debate on the current situation in the Greek refugee camp on Lesbos and the EU’s response to this humanitarian crisis.

Over one week after the fire destroyed the refugee camp, the EU needs to jointly respond to this emergency by showing solidarity, both towards those coming from war-torn regions and the areas at the EU’s borders that have to manage the arrival of refugees. A failure to take action could allow the humanitarian crisis on Europe’s doorstep to leave asylum seekers and countries at Europe’s borders more vulnerable than before.

The upcoming launch of the European Commission’s new Pact on Migration and Asylum offers a timely opportunity to put in place a truly common European immigration and asylum policy that provides a European response to this challenge, while making the protection of fundamental human rights a priority, as European migration policy should be built on the principle of solidarity and the fair sharing of responsibility.
Key Texts: European Commission:
European Agenda on Migration European Parliament: Resolution on the situation in the Mediterranean
Upcoming Dates 23 September
Commission presents the new Pact on Migration and Asylum 24-25 September
Special European Council
The European Movement International position:
In our policy position on “Migration and Europe: Protecting Fundamental Rights”, we argue that efforts in the area of migration policy have to be made by all Member States in order to alleviate the pressure on the main countries of arrival. Solidarity is key, meaning that national leaders must take responsibility and refrain from nationalistic and anti-migration rhetoric and action. The open nature of Europe should be preserved, Schengen cannot be compromised. Free movement is a fundamental right for EU citizens. Therefore, a ‘Fortress Europe’ runs contrary to the founding values of the European Union.

The core of any policy should be that refugees and asylum seekers are, first and foremost, human beings and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, as we argue in our policy position on ”Migration and the Refugee Crisis: A European Response”. For this reason, detention of asylum seekers should only be a measure of last resort and avoided as much as possible. With timely measures and the appropriate funding, Europe should be able help the national and local authorities alleviate the settlement of the refugees and asylum seekers.

Image of refugees crossing the Med Mstyslav Chernov/Unframe CC BY-SA 4.0