In November 2014 Christian organisations published Recommendations for the development of safe and legal paths to protection in the European Union. Read more.
NGOs' concern about the proposed EU cooperation with Libya
Over 70 NGOs have expressed their concern about proposed EU cooperation with Libya through a letter to EU heads of states and governments and EU policymakers.
The decision to transfer the responsibility for managing migratory movements along the central Mediterranean route to Libya will neither reduce human rights abuses, nor end smuggling. Instead, it will significantly increase…read more: DEUTSCH, ELLINIKÁ, ESPAÑOL , FRANÇAIS, ITALIANO, NEDERLANDS, POLSKI
EU leaders can save lives this winter if they change migration policies
This week, European leaders meet in Brussels to discuss, amongst other things, progress on the EU-Turkey deal, the reform of the European asylum system, solidarity and responsibility sharing, and cooperation with countries of origin and transit. As humanitarian and human rights organisations working in Europe, we are gravely concerned that European policies are trying more and more to push people out of Europe, making it even harder to....Read more
Children cannot wait: 7 priority actions to protect all refugee and migrant children
78 organisations active in the field of children’s rights strongly welcome that this year’s European Forum on the Rights of the Child focuses on protecting children in migration. Children represent a significant proportion of migrants and refugees. At least 1 in 3 people arriving to Greece by sea in 2016 were children. In the same year, the number of unaccompanied children arriving to ...Read more
NGO Joint Comments on Resettlement
Since 2009, the European Commission has sought to coordinate resettlement efforts in order to firmly integrate resettlement in the external dimension of the EU’s asylum policy and to improve its strategic use in the context of the Joint EU Resettlement Programme. Our signatory organisations and member organisations, which have intervened in all stages of the resettlement process, have....read more
Christian Comments on the Dublin IV Regulation
The current Commission proposals have been formulated at a time when countries are above all preoccupied to reduce arrivals of refugees and migrants in Europe, rather than fundamentally addressing the shortcomings of a Dublin system, which have been signalled consistently over the last five years. At the same time, the majority of Member States have been rather reluctant with regard to new solidarity mechanisms, such as resettlement of refugees from major refugee hosting countries and relocation of asylum applicants inside the European Union. Our organisations recognise that Member States of the EU need to restore mutual trust at a time when the ...Read 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 to....read more
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 are....read 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 ....read more
Joint Appeal Church World Service and Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe
In a Statement issued on 26 October 2015, Church World Service and the Churches' Commission for Migrants in Europe appeal to the United States and Europe to substantially contribute to resettling the 10 per cent of Syrian refugees considered by UNHCR to be particularly vulnerable and in need of resettlement. Read the full statement...
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.
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
20.000 EU places and policy coherence for resettlement – by 2020!
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: