Caritas Europa: Recommendations Regarding EU “Stockholm Programme” (Statements)

Caritas Europa and five Christian partner organisations have presented a series of recommendations on the “Stockholm Programme” to the Swedish Presidency of the EU, the European Commission and the European Council.   Recommendations include:

“Border management measures must not lead to the deaths of hundreds of men, women and children. They must effectively guarantee that human rights, including the “nonrefoulement” obligation, are respected under all circumstances. In this regard training of border guards in the rights and obligations pertaining to international protection can be of great importance. Above all, border management structures must become more transparent and accountable. Instead of simply strengthening capacities and funding, a procedure must be put in place that proficiently ensures that those who are committing abuses will be held accountable. To this effect, the mandate and the activities of EU agencies such as FRONTEX should be clarified with respect to international obligations of the Union and its Member States towards persons in need of international protection.”

“Furthermore we encourage the European Parliament to tighten and enhance its control over activities of the FRONTEX Agency and the envisaged European Asylum Support Office. The active involvement of UNHCR and NGOs (including Church-related organisations) is vital for the success of these bodies.”

“Moreover in this context the recent initiatives of some Mediterranean Member States should be taken up and a coherent responsibility sharing policy should be devised, in the sense that other Member States assume responsibility for dealing with a certain number of asylum applications. Additionally the Union must develop a procedure of immediate suspension of the Dublin II Regulation when a Member State cannot comply with its duties under international and European law to ensure a fair procedure, decent reception conditions and effective protection. Nevertheless Member States must comply with their obligations under EU asylum legislation.”

” The negotiation of readmission and other agreements with third countries concerning the treatment (especially the return) of third country nationals must be transparent and subjected to close scrutiny by the European Parliament and the general public. Agreements are only acceptable if they ensure that the human rights of all persons concerned are completely and effectively respected.”

Click here for the full Recommendations.

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