Stronger borders and more returns cannot be dressed up as solidarity

23 Sep 2020

Refugee camp

Responding to the launch of the European Commission’s new Pact for Migration and Asylum, ETUC Confederal Secretary Ludovic Voet said:

“Trade unions know the meaning of solidarity and this is not it. Fortress Europe looks stronger than ever.

“The Commission’s proposal moves the EU further away from an approach to migration and asylum based on solidarity and human rights and towards a system which prioritises getting vulnerable people back into poverty and conflict zones as quickly as possible to appease populists.

“This Pact is about managing relations between member states, not about the needs of migrants – which should be the EU’s starting point. The EU has a duty of solidarity towards migrants, and stronger borders and more returns cannot be dressed up as solidarity.

“What working class people in Europe actually need is action on legal routes for labour migration which prevent exploitation of migrants by some shameless employers who create unfair competition with local workers.

"The legal pathways being proposed are about attracting talent - it's not a rights-based approached but a brain-drain approach. 

“In the month that saw the Moria camp burn down and the fifth anniversary of the death of Alan Kurdi, the EU needed to introduce some basic humanity into its approach to migration. It has failed.”

Notes

Full ETUC policy statement on Asylum and Migration Pact: https://www.etuc.org/en/document/etuc-statement-much-awaited-pact-asylum-and-migration