It was not only Brexit negotiations that were discussed during the last EU Council this week in Brussels. Migration was also a topic covered by the Council, as mentioned by President Tusk and Junker during the final Press Conference.
Before opening the floor to questions, Donald Tusk presented the main results of the discussion on migration, as follows:
President Junker points out that the discussion about strengthening cooperation with Africa did not only concern migration. The European Commission President call for a fair and equal partnership with Africa and asked for enhanced economic cooperation.
SOLIDAR and its members underline the fundamental need to stop to talking about illegal migrants. Migration should never be criminalized. The opening of legal channels should be the main solution for safe migration. We also underline that a fairer and more sustainable solution is needed to counteract against the drivers of migration. Concerning the importance of international cooperation with Africa, SOLIDAR and its members always promote fair actions for growth and development in these countries. Concerning return policies, we consider any possible forced returns unacceptable and on the contrary, we consider all possible returns should be motivated by voluntary reasons and human needs. SOLIDAR once again asks to avoid all possible partnership with countries that do not fully respect migrants’ fundamental rights and international law.
SOLIDAR had the opportunity to underline its position on the topic last week on the occasion of the Sabir Festival in Palermo. Members of SOLIDAR that participated at the event in Palermo were able to discuss migration and integration and to share their good practices. Sabir Festival was an opportunity to demonstrate that civil society is already working to address the migration issue in a more dynamic way, focusing on the long-term integration of migrants and social investment, spreading a message of solidarity instead of constant repeal of “emergency”.