Caritas Europa and partner organisations address EU on „Stockholm Programme“

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.

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

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

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

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

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