VEF declaration regarding current refugee policy

Most recently Greece deported people to Turkey within the scope of the EU Agreement with Turkey. According to reports of Greek officials, no persons were involved thereunder, who claimed any protection requirement. However local human rights organizations doubt this claim and assume that asylum seekers were also definitely among the deportees. Persons, who seek asylum in Greece, are subjected to a brief process. Thereby it is determined, whether they have already received asylum in Turkey or another form of protection – for example temporary shelter – or rather whether they came to Greece through a safe third country outside of the EU. If these questions more; German Version


Christian Comments on the EU Commission’s Proposal for a European Border and Coast Guard COM(2015) 671 Final

On 15 December 2015, the European Commission issued a proposal for a Regulation that would create a “European Border and Coast Guard” with a “European Border and Coast Guard Agency” built on Frontex and the Member States’ border and coast guard units. The proposal entails a new and broader mandate for the Frontex agency, i.e. more competencies and additional staff and equipment. In particular, the size of Frontex permanent staff as well as of the pool of national experts would increase substantially. In addition, the European Commission would have the competence to more


A Call to Shared Responsibility and Coordinated Action

On 18-19 January 2016 representatives of governments, UN agencies and civil society organizations, including churches and faith-based organizations, met at a high-level conference on the refugee and migrant crisis in Europe, hosted by the World Council of Churches (WCC) in Geneva, Switzerland, and co-sponsored by UNICEF, UNFPA and UNHCR. The conference aimed to promote principled, human rights-based and coordinated responses more


Forced Migration: Pain and Tragedy, Challenges and Responsibilities

The picture of three-year old Syrian child, Aylan Kurdi, face down and lifeless on the shore after trying to cross to Greece, has been making the rounds of alternative and mainstream media. It moved people, as it must. It called for change, as it should…Read more.


Humanitarian visa within the EU Visa Code

Organizations representing Churches throughout Europe - Anglican, Orthodox, Protestant and Roman Catholic - as well as Christian agencies address a letter to the Members of the European Parliament/LIBE Committee explaining what humanitarian visas are and exploring the experience of states in issuing humanitarian visas and supporting humanitarian visa within the EU Visa Code


Commemorate Persons who lost their lives on their way to seek safety

The tragedy off the Libyan coast in April 2015 has once more brought the fate of persons crossing the Mediterranean Sea and seeking safety to the attention of European societies and governments. Yet, many more tragedies occur almost daily on the Southern European borders: this year has already seen tragedies on Rhodes, Greece, several incidents at the fence between Morocco and the Spanish exclave of Ceuta and Melilla in addition to Lampedusa, Italy, and Malta, plus a number of read more... ; Resource Guide English; Resource Guide German


Comments by Christian organisations on the European Commission’s Proposal for amendments to the Dublin III Regulations Regarding Unaccompanied Minors

Following the European Commission’s proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and the Council amending Regulation (EU) No. 604/2013 as regards the determination of the Member State responsible for examining the application for international protection of unaccompanied minors with no family member, sibling or relative legally present in a Member State – COM(2014)0382 final, Christian organisations based in Brussels made comments….


9 December 2014: EU Member States must increase pledges to resettle and admit more refugees fleeing Syria

A coalition of NGOs have addressed an open letter to European institutions calling them to increase pledges to resettle and admit more refugees fleeing Syria.
In less than a month from now, the European Union and its Member States have been invited to gather with their international counterparts for a ministerial-level pledging conference on resettlement and other forms of admission for Syrian refugees. The war in Syria has caused over 3 million people to flee from conflict and persecution. All EU Member States must seize this opportunity more


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Recommendations for the Development of Safe and Legal Paths to Protection in the EU

After the tragedies of Lampedusa and Malta in October 2013, the discussion on providing more safe and legal paths for persons in need of protection to enter the European Union has gained a new dynamic. Decision-makers from the entire political spectrum quickly joined Pope Francis and other representatives of religious communities in their call for solidarity with migrants and protection
seekers. Since then, however, the Commission-led ‘Task Force Mediterranean’ has not come up more; Portuguese


Dr Arjan Plaisier, President of the Synod of the Protestant Church in Netherlands visiting the refugee garage in Amsterdam where 8o rejected asylum seekers from 18 different countries are living.

Europe’s role in refugee protection in the 21st centuryEurope’s role in refugee protection in the 21st century

The large majority of refugees are currently hosted by poorer countries in the world. In the 20th century, Europe was the scene of displacement but also of providing protection. In the past years, the numbers of refugees in Europe has drastically declined, in disproportion to the global level. Numbers of refugees vary significantly between different European countries. Overall, fewer refugees find access into Europe and access to effective protection.


Therefore, priorities will be:

  1. Defending asylum (including complementary protection)
  2. Additional forms of refugee protection; including resettlement of refugees to Europe
  3. Revising the need for protection (e.g. environmental refugees, internal displacement)

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