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Caritas Europa and partner organisations address EU on "Stockholm Programme"


20 Jul 2009


Social Europe & Jobs

Brussels, 16 July 2009 - Caritas Europa and five Christian partner organisations (Christian Group) have sent their recommendations on the “Stockholm Programme” to the Swedish Presidency of the EU, the European Commission and the European Council.

This Programme is intended to be the EU’s legislative agenda in the area of justice and home affairs for the next five years. It will set up the framework for EU police and customs cooperation, rescue services, criminal and civil law cooperation, asylum, migration and visa policy.

The Christian Group’s document concentrates on migration and asylum. It recommends the following:

1. Respect for human rights of migrants and refugees
2. Promote legal labour migration
3. Access to protection for people in need
4. Invest in integration
5. Allocate sufficient financial resources to address the social impact of migration

Caritas Europa and Christian partner organisations recommend EU decision makers to focus on investing in measures that address the social impact of migration - Photo: Blogsimages.skynet

Caritas Europa and partner organisations recommend EU Institutions to invest efficiently in measures aiming at adressing the social impact of migration
Photo: Wikipedia

Concerning the respect for human rights of migrants and refugees, and among other important proposals, the Christian Group advocates for more transparency and accountability of the EU’s border management structures, such as the EU agencies FRONTEX and the envisaged European Asylum Support Office. The Group also proposes further democratic control over them via the European Parliament.

The Group denounces the widespread use of detention of migrants and asylum seekers while their application is being processed by Member States. To counter this flagrant violation of human rights, it proposes the creation of a common set of sustainable alternatives to detention.

On legal labour migration, one proposal is about creating “a truly pro-active and common immigration policy” by setting up clear and transparent common channels for labour migrants to enter the EU, adopting common labour migrants’ rights and common guidelines for ethical recruitment in the countries of origin. The Group also proposes agreements on free movement of workers between the EU and countries of origin.

A recommendation on integration is the creation of a structure to exchange best practices to familiarise citizens with Europe’s increasingly diverse ethnic, religious and cultural society, in coordination with the EU strategy on social inclusion and social protection.

The document ends with a proposal suggesting a revision of the allocation of funds to migration and asylum programmes to revert the current situation in which measures that mainly aim to stop migration receive largely more funds than those aiming at addressing the social impact of migration.

The “Stockholm Programme” is planned to be adopted by the European Council on 10-11 December 2009. Caritas hopes that the Council will take the Christian Group’s recommendations into consideration during the adoption process.

» Read the complete document: Recommendations for the Migration and Asylum Policies in the EU "Stockholm Programme"

For more information, please contact:
Peter Verhaeghe
Migration Officer
Tel: +32 2 235 03 96


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