Why your vote matters to stop outsourcing the responsibility to protect those in need?

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 outsourcing the responsibility to protect those in need?

The EU and its Member States are increasingly trying to shift their responsibilities to protect refugees to other countries outside the EU. They do it by:

  • Including the concept of “safe third country” or “first country of asylum” in EU legislation, which allows countries to reject asylum applications without focusing on whether the person needs protection simply by saying that they already have or can obtain protection in another country where they were before reaching the EU.
  • By signing agreements with non-EU countries who agree to readmit asylum seekers arriving irregularly at the EU.

Why is this a problem?

Outsourcing the responsibility to protect refugees outside the EU is wrong for, at least, two reasons:

  • The largest number of refugees is currently hosted in developing countries. The EU is one of the wealthiest regions of the world, we can, and we should act in solidarity and assume our responsibility to protect refugees within the Global community.
  • Many of the countries with which the EU seeks cooperation are countries that violate human rights themselves. Sending people back to such countries can expose them to violation of their rights and put them at risk of being sent back to their home country, where they fear persecution.

What do we want the next European Parliament to do?

We believe in a EU that is proud of being a place of safety and protection for people fleeing persecution and does not shy away from assuming its own responsibility.

For that, we want the next European Parliament to act as watchdog and looks critically into agreements done by the EU and its Member States to ensure that it does not put people in danger and is compliant with international law. It should also look critically at the “safe country” concept and denounce any misuse or structural problem.

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

Read how your vote can affect:

Ending Migration Detention

Expanding safe and legal access to protection

Creating a culture of solidarity and hospitality