COMECE statement on the EU Pact on Migration and Asylum

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“Put Human dignity and Common Good at the centre of the future negotiations”

In view of the International Migrants Day, held annually on 18 December, the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE) calls upon the EU and its Member States to put the human dignity and the common good at the centre of the future negotiations on the recently proposed EU Pact on Migration and Asylum.

The statement, published on Wednesday 16 December 2020, included policy recommendations made by the COMECE Working Group on Migration and Asylum.

Following the analysis of the EU Pact on Migration and Asylum, proposed by the European Commission on 23 September 2020, the COMECE Working Group on Migration and Asylum expressed its concerns about the effectiveness of the Pact to alleviate the difficult situation, aggravated by COVID-19, in which migrants and refugees find themselves.

While recognising the efforts of the European Commission to set out a new and comprehensive framework aimed to create a fair and predictable migration management mechanism, COMECE urged all negotiating actors to promote a welcoming context as well as a fair and just approach to those in need.

The COMECE document also proposed a series of concrete policy recommendations toward a multi-level solidarity mechanism, external relations based on reciprocity and fair partnerships, and an integrated management of external borders, that would protect and promote the human rights rooted in human dignity of all individuals and families arriving in the EU.

Especially in the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic, “which exacerbated the poverty, social exclusion and stigmatisation of migrants, asylum seekers and victims of human trafficking… the Pact should create a sustainable and human system of solidarity and responsibility sharing that recognises the mutual advantages of migration and protects refugees” – reads the statement.

The contribution is the result of the multiple online meetings of the COMECE Working Group and its experts, who also contributed to the public consultation on the future of EU legal migration aiming to identify areas of improvement of the EU framework on legal migration.

On 16 October 2020, COMECE contributed to the Public Consultation on the integration and inclusion, highlighting the importance of Church-based organisations in the process of integration and the need for these organisations to be recognised and be included in future funding.