After intense negotiations, the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament announced that they have reached an agreement on the so-called European Pact on Asylum and Migration. After more than three years of debates and constant reform proposals, the EU institutions are presenting it as a historic agreement. However, the agreed pact will increase human suffering and reduce protection to refugees and migrants.
“Unfortunately, it is a historic low for the Common European Asylum System – says Alberto Ares SJ, JRS Europe’s director –This Pact gives the start to a system that will likely concentrate thousands of people – including children – in de facto detention at the EU external borders. This will not only fail at solving the current system’s shortcomings, but also will exponentially increase people’s suffering and the obstacles they have to face to reach protection.”
The agreement does not mean the work on the Pact is over. Technical aspects and details still need to be ironed out in the next months. Nothing is set in stone until the texts are formally voted in the European Parliament’s plenary. JRS therefore still calls legislators to fully change course and reject this pact.
Alberto Ares SJ: “The EU must recheck its moral compass. Any reform of asylum and migration policy must put people at the core and be guided by EU values of human dignity, solidarity and liberty. The EU was created to tear down the walls at our borders, not build them higher. If however, the EU chooses to continue with this Pact, JRS will remain at the side of forcibly displaced people and continue to serve and accompany them, and to advocate for a Common European Asylum System worth this name.”