The European Council met on 14 and 15 December 2017 to debate on the most pressing policy issues, including migration. Ahead of the EU leaders’ meeting, the Commission proposed a political roadmap to reach a comprehensive agreement on how to pursue a sustainable migration policy by June 2018.
SOLIDAR welcomes the Commission's proposal to overhaul the Common European Asylum System towards a more effective and fairer approach to balancing solidarity and responsibility. SOLIDAR calls on the European Council and the Commission not to water down the progress achieved by the approval of legislative proposal to reform the Dublin regulation. This legislative proposal aims at replacing the principle of the first country of arrival with an automatic and permanent system of relocation of asylum seekers to all EU Member States.
On the basis of the discussion, leaders discussed how to operationalise the new European Border and Coast Guard Agency; how to fully implement the EU-Turkey Statement and how to reinforce the strategic partnership with the African Union and its Member States.
SOLIDAR regrets that the EU-Turkey action plan lacks adequate measures to ensure better living conditions for the asylum seekers and refugees who live in Turkey such as increased access to social and healthcare services, equal opportunities and the implementation of child and gender sensitive measures to protect the most vulnerable. We are also seriously concerned about the human rights situation of migrants and the risks they face in Libya. Therefore, SOLIDAR calls on international and EU leaders to take effective action to ensure that Libya fulfils its duty to uphold human rights. In the same vein, safe and legal routes into the EU must be provided for people seeking asylum to prevent dangerous journeys and to combat smuggling.
Concerning the internal dimension of the migration policy, SOLIDAR welcomes the European Council’s plans to find a consensus by June 2018 based on the concepts of responsibility and solidarity, in which illegal migration will be effectively tackled by the full involvement of Member States and the coordinated use of EU and Member States instruments.
SOLIDAR expects the common conclusions of the two day meeting to be reflected in the current and upcoming policy initiatives.