European Movement open letter to the European Commission on the new proposals on migration receives cross-party support
Dear Commissioner Avramopoulos,
The current migration and refugee crisis has posed one of the greatest challenges the European Union has experienced so far. The arrival of migrants and refugees has stretched the limits of European cooperation and put one of the fundamental rights of European citizens, free movement, at risk.
We acknowledge the European Commission’s efforts to find a common response to the refugee crisis. With the European Agenda on Migration and many ambitious proposals the Commission has sought to push for decisive and joint action to counter the crisis.
We urge you to table determined and effective solutions when your proposals in the context of the European Agenda on Migration are presented this March, solutions that will enable the EU to address in a collective manner the challenges Europe faces.
Migration offers opportunities for a continent characterised by demographic decline and with labour markets in need of skilled workers. Readjusting the Blue Card regulation’s strict requirements and ensuring a transparent and equal application across Europe as well as its extension to non-academic fields, such as entrepreneurs and lower-skilled migrants, will enable Member States’ economies to benefit from migration. Furthermore, third country nationals should receive equal treatment to EU citizens with regards to their rights.
The reform of the Dublin regulation into a permanent and binding mechanism that ensures the fair sharing of responsibility to host asylum seekers and refugees can offer a structural solution at times of extreme strain. This mechanism should take into account the economic and social capacities of EU Member States and EEA states, as well as the preferences of asylum seekers and refugees, avoiding coercive transfers. All this should also be taken into account when devising a structured system on resettlement.
Last but not least, the core of all policies put forward in the context of the European Agenda on Migration should be that refugees and asylum seekers are, first and foremost, human beings and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. This should be reflected across the board, from ensuring access to legal asylum procedures for all and avoiding the detention of asylum seekers, to ensuring that refugees are not discriminated against when it comes to the provision of social protections.
The way Europe responds to this mass population displacement will not just define our moral compass; it will also determine whether we can utilise these challenges and turn them into an opportunity for Europe. We believe that the above is essential for a concrete and determined European response to a problem that demands common action. We urge you, as the Commissioner responsible for Migration, to take these points into account in your preparatory work on the proposals expected in March.
Jo LEINEN, President of European Movement International and S&D MEP, Germany
Jean-Marie CAVADA, Vice-President of the European Movement International and ALDE MEP, France
Margrete AUKEN, GREENS/EFA MEP, Denmark
Georges BACH, EPP MEP, Luxembourg
Deirdre CLUNE, EPP MEP, Ireland
Richard CORBETT, S&D MEP, United Kingdom
Jonás FERNÁNDEZ, S&D MEP, Spain
Eugen FREUND, S&D MEP, Austria
Ana Maria GOMES, S&D MEP, Portugal
Nathalie GRIESBECK, ALDE MEP, France
Mary HONEYBALL, S&D MEP, United Kingdom
Dietmar KÖSTER, S&D MEP, Germany
Jean LAMBERT, GREENS/EFA MEP, United Kingdom
Juan Fernando LÓPEZ AGUILAR, S&D MEP, Spain
Luigi MORGANO, S&D MEP, Italy
Maite PAGAZAURTUNDÚA RUIZ, ALDE MEP, Spain
Christine REVAULT D’ALLONNES BONNEFOY, S&D MEP, France
Maria João RODRIGUES, S&D MEP, Portugal
Virginie ROZIÈRE, S&D MEP, France
Alfred SANT, S&D MEP, Malta
Bart STAES, GREENS/EFA MEP, Belgium
Keith TAYLOR, GREENS/EFA MEP, United Kingdom
Róża Gräfin von THUN UND HOHENSTEIN, EPP MEP, Poland
Yana TOOM, S&D MEP, Estonia
Derek VAUGHAN, S&D MEP, United Kingdom
Carlos ZORRINHO, S&D MEP, Portugal
Read the European Movement position on migration here.