PES Migration and Integration Network praises milestone plan for common European approach

25/09/2020

PES Migration and Integration Network

PES Migration and Integration Network meeting by videoconference

The new EU Pact on Migration and Asylum is an important step towards a truly European asylum and migration policy - it is a workable compromise after years of deadlock on a common approach, the PES Migration & Integration Network said today as it welcomed the package presented on Wednesday by EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson.

MEPs, representatives from PES member parties and organisations, and NGOs convened by videoconference with the Commissioner to discuss the new Pact, which aims to move towards a predictable and reliable Europeanised asylum and migration management system based on solidarity and a fairer sharing of responsibility.

The Network agreed that Member States must live up to these principles by committing to saving lives, showing solidarity with people in need, as well as other Member States. Socialist and democrats will closely follow the Pact to ensure Europe upholds the right to asylum. A common EU system must be based on humane reception conditions, fair procedures, true solidarity exercised through responsibility sharing, partnerships on an equal footing with third countries, legal pathways, and effective integration.

Co-chair of the PES Migration and Integration Network, Swedish MP Carina Ohlsson from SAP, said:

“This has been one of the thorniest issues facing the EU for several years and we congratulate Commissioner Johansson for her enormous efforts. After years of fraught negotiations at the EU level, Ylva has shown real leadership and delivered a principled and workable plan. Once again, social democrats are paving the way forward.

“As the devasting Moria fire highlighted yet again, asylum seekers and migrants deserve a common, humane, sustainable and fair European migration and asylum policy. As social democrats our principles have always been clear: European and international solidarity, responsibility sharing, and respecting human rights and fundamental rights for all. These must guide the EU going forward.”

Commissioner Johansson responded rapidly to the Moria fire, coordinating emergency support offered by Member States and the resettlement of displaced people.  With the Commission’s help and financial support, 406 unaccompanied minors were transferred to the Greek mainland. This emergency action followed-on from sustained efforts to relieve overcrowded reception centres.

Speaking at the meeting, Commissioner Johansson said:

“Migration is normal and we can manage migration, the pact is a balanced approach to this common challenge. We must act as a global leader in defending the right of asylum, to be true to our values, to the Treaty, to the fundamental rights and the Geneva convention and show solidarity around the globe and welcome our share of refugees to the EU.”

Commissioner Johansson, PES member parties, S&D members and the wider progressive family are fighting for an asylum and migration policy which is true to European and progressive values. Earlier this month the PES urged Europe to pull together on migration and asylum. We believe managing asylum and migration together can work for all.