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Incoherence between EU Policies undermines the poorest nations’ right to development


15 Oct 2009


Social Europe & Jobs

Press information. Brussels, 14 October 2009 - Caritas Europa strongly supports the analysis and recommendations in the report “Spotlight on Policy Coherence” that CONCORD has launched today in response to the European Commission’s Communication and report on Policy Coherence for Development.

Some EU Policies agreed upon in Brussels have a wicked impact on developing countries; they undermine these countries’ possibilities to develop and jeopardize the achievements reached with the help of EU development aid.
Caritas Europa has contributed to and coordinated the collective writing of the Spotlight Report chapter on coherence between the EU’s migration policies and development objectives.

For Caritas Europa, migration is about the legitimate aspiration and the right of human beings to have a better life, for them and their relatives. What must prevail, before any geo-political or commercial considerations, is the right of women, men and children to live a decent life. The European migration policies mixing up migration and security concerns are ethically unacceptable. "Migration is an ancient human phenomenon, that is useful and positive to society’s development, provided it is regulated in compliance with human rights”, has remarked on several occasions Erny Gillen, President of Caritas Europa.

The European Union’s current excessive focus on controlling migration flows is expensive, unjust and dangerous. It contributes to the expansion of irregular migration channels, and violations of human rights in Europe and in developing countries. Instead, the EU should invest in securing migrants’ rights and promoting migrants’ role as positive actors of change in society. What is needed is a shift from seeing migrants through the narrow lens of economic and demographic benefit for Europe, to seeing them through their contribution to bridging the gaps between Northern and Southern countries.

In order to strengthen the coherence between migration and development policies, the Spotlight Report policy recommendations to the EU focus on:

putting people and human rights at the centre of all EU policies, enhancing flexibility and ethics in labour migration policies and practices, and halting the misuse of Official Development Assistance as incentive for migration flow management.

Caritas will carry on advocating for more coherent and human rights-based policies promoting positive aspects of migration and development at the next Global Forum on Migration and Development that will take place in Athens on 2-3 November 2009.


For more information, please contact:
Blandine Bouniol
Policy Officer for International Cooperation
Tel: +32 (0)2 235 26 55