In view of the agreement on the European Pact on Migration and Asylum


You shall not pervert the justice due a stranger  (Deuteronomy 24:17). Justice and Peace is dismayed by the outcome of the political agreement reached last December 20 on the reform of asylum procedures in the European Union, which gives the final green light to the implementation of the European Pact on Migration and Asylum.

In previous publications on the occasion of World Refugee Day and International Migrants Day, we have already expressed our concern about the lack of scruples shown by both the Commission and the European Council when defining the new framework for migration and asylum. We warned about the possible risks to the human rights and dignity of migrants and refugees that the adoption of this framework entailed, denouncing that it put at risk such enshrined principles as international protection and non-refoulement. Unfortunately, our fears have been confirmed.

We express our deepest rejection of the concessions that the European Parliament has made to the pretensions of the Council and the European Commission, allowing the lack of procedural guarantees, the violation of the privacy of people (including children), the opacity in the monitoring of border procedures and the instrumentalization -if not criminalization- of non-governmental organizations that help migrants, to be laundered and go unpunished.

We consider highly striking that all the groups in the European Parliament (including Christian Democrats and Social Democrats) with the exception of the Greens and the European Left, have voted in favor of the Pact and we call on the electorate of our country so that in the next elections to the European Parliament to be held in June to assess whether the sense of his or her vote is consistent with the defense of human rights and the dignity of migrants.

We emphasize two elements that we consider important.

Firstly, with respect to the mechanism for regulating migration and asylum and determining the State responsible for processing asylum applications and which sets out the three "solidarity channels": relocation, funding to States receiving migratory flows and funding to third countries (many of which violate human rights). We find unacceptable the colonial and profoundly neoliberal view that underlies these mechanisms and that basically makes possible to close the eyes of the societies of the most prosperous countries, leaving in the hands of unreliable actors decisions that affect the lives and future of millions of vulnerable people.

Secondly, we are concerned about the acceptance "as a lesser evil" of discourses and practices in migration policies bordering on racism and xenophobia by traditionally moderate political options, as well as the aseptic and innocuous discourses of other self-styled progressive options. In this sense, we deeply regret that the Spanish presidency of the Council of the European Union, which ends next December 31, considers this Pact a success.

Spanish General Commission for Justice and Peace