Why your vote matters to expand safe and legal access to protection?

07 May 2024|JRS Europe

The upcoming European Parliament Elections, held between 6 and 9 of June, represent an opportunity for all citizens to use their vote to help co-create the Europe they envision.

In this context, JRS Europe has launched “Dear European Parliament”, a campaign calling on all EU citizens to vote by highlighting how the EU parliament decisions can foster solidarity and hospitality, end migration detention, stop policies outsourcing the responsibility to protect those in need and expand safe and legal ways of reaching Europe.

What is the issue with access to protection in Europe today?

There are currently hardly any legal ways for refugees to reach the EU. There is no such thing as a visa to come and apply for international protection.

The procedures and criteria to obtain other existing visas do not adapt to the situation of people fleeing conflict or persecution. For instance, it can be dangerous for them to go to an embassy, impossible to predict “return” dates or unfeasible to collect all the necessary paperwork.

On top of this, the recently approved Migration and Asylum Pact will increase the systematic use of border procedures, which will block people at the EU external borders. This will further limit their possibilities to reach protection in Europe.

Why is this a problem?

Because of the lack of legal channels, people undertake very dangerous journeys, for instance at sea, or put their lives in the hands of smugglers. Many of them lose their lives each year in these journeys.

Moreover, the EU and its Member States have built fences and increased patrolling to block irregular access, which in turn pushes migrants to pursue even more dangerous journeys.

In addition, the increasingly used border procedures take place in detention or de facto detention. This has been proven to be harmful for people, in addition to offering less procedural guarantees such as legal assistance.

What do we want the next European Parliament to do?

We believe in a EU that does not close its door in the face of people in need and does not lock up those who ask for protection.

For that, we want the next European Parliament to be vocal on the need to expand safe and legal ways of reaching protection in Europe and to invest in robust reception systems. We also want the European Parliament to closely follow the implementation of border procedures and denounce violations of EU laws and values.

If you want to learn more about the European Elections visit together.eu

This campaign is co-funded by the European Parliament.

Read how your vote can affect:

Stoping outsourcing the responsibility to protect those in need

Ending Migration Detention

Creating a culture of solidarity and hospitality