Yes, there’s still hope in Europe

27 May 2019

Brussels, 27 May 2019 – The 2019 European elections are over and the big test for the European Parliament and the European Union as a whole has come to an end. JRS welcomes the power of European citizens to repel any inward-looking, nationalist, and anti-migrant version of Europe.

With turnout rising for the first time in 40 years, we gave a strong signal that Europe is home to people of all nationalities, notwithstanding the efforts of some to undermine the premises of the European project: hospitality, solidarity and the respect of human rights.

Contrary to the anti-migrant discourse, it is proven that there is widespread support across Europe for embracing migrants and refugees in our societies.

However, JRS reminds that, regardless of whether the far-right has underperformed against the pre-vote hype, the ideas that they are bringing in this new European Parliament can reshape Europe’s political landscape for the years to come.

This can put at risk Europe’s capacity to effectively defend not only its citizens but also refugees and asylum seekers. With the unfinished negotiations on the asylum reform being now referred to the forthcoming parliament term, Eurosceptic voices will still impact the adoption of humanitarian and solidarity-based asylum policies at EU and member state level.

Therefore, we call on all pro-European parties in the new Parliament to work collectively with one another and build strong alliances for the cause of an inclusive Europe. This is the way to override xenophobic policies that will seek to dismantle EU’s capacity to protect and embrace all people, especially the mostly affected.

To succeed, we also need a more nuanced approach from pro-European parties, other relevant stakeholders and the civil society. Especially, we need to bring civil society organisations at the table to leverage their existing experiences and best practices, when EU decides on policies and frameworks for refugees and migrants.

JRS will continue to work for a Europe that welcomes, protects and guarantees dignity for all.

We used the power of our vote and it worked. Now we must make sure it is put to good use.