ORIGINAL PUBLISHED ON EU LAW ANALYSIS
The following is a leaked draft of the Commission communication on the EU migration agenda which is due to be published on Wednesday 13th May.It might be changed before publication and may also be missing some text.
Throughout history, people have migrated from one place to another. The reasons can vary greatly: political oppression, war, poverty, entrepreneurship, family reunification – every person’s migration tells its own story. Migration impacts society in many different ways and calls for a variety of responses. This Agenda brings together the different steps the European Union should take now, and in the coming years, to meet this challenge.
The immediate imperative must be the duty to protect those in need. The plight of thousands of migrants putting their lives in peril to cross the Mediterranean has shocked us all. As a first and immediate response, the Commission put forward a ten point plan for immediate action. The European Parliament and the European Council have lent their support to these plans and Member States have also committed to concrete steps to avert further loss of life.
The response was immediate but insufficient. This cannot be a one-off response. Emergency measures have been necessary because the collective European policy on the matter has fallen short. While most Europeans have responded to the plight of the migrants, the reality is that across Europe, there are serious doubts about whether our migration policy is equal to the pressure of thousands of migrants, to the need to integrate migrants in our societies, or to the economic demands of a Europe in demographic decline.
To try to halt the human misery created by those who exploit migrants, we need to exploit the EU’s global role and wide range of tools to address the root causes. Some of these are deep-seated but must be addressed. Globalisation and the communication revolution have created opportunities and raised expectations. Others are the consequence of wars and crises from Ukraine to the Middle East and North Africa. The impact of global poverty and conflict do not end at national frontiers. Europe should continue to be a safe haven for those fleeing persecution but it is also an attractive destination for economic migrants. Upholding our international commitments and values while protecting our borders and at the same time creating the right conditions for Europe’s economic prosperity and societal well-being is a difficult balancing act that requires coordinated action on the European level.
This calls for a set of core measures and a consistent and clear common policy. We need to restore confidence in our ability to bring together European and national efforts to address migration, to meet our international and ethical obligations and to work together in an effective way. A European solution is essential because these are challenges that no Member State can effectively address alone. But it is clear that we need a new approach. This requires using all policies and tools at our disposal – combining internal and external policies to best effect. This also requires us to show solidarity and shared responsibility. All actors, Member States and EU institutions, need to work together to make a common European migration policy a reality. Continue reading “(DRAFT) COMMISSION STRATEGY ON EU IMMIGRATION POLICY”