Safe Passage is a project of the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME) to respond to the ongoing migration and refugee crisis in the Mediterranean.
Our organisations represent Churches throughout Europe – Anglican, Orthodox, Protestant and Roman Catholic – as well as Christian agencies particularly concerned with migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. As Christian organisations we are deeply committed to the inviolable dignity of the human person created in the image of God, as well as to the concepts of the common good, of global solidarity and of the promotion of a society that welcomes strangers. We also share the conviction that the core values of the European Union as an area of freedom and justice must be reflected by day-to-day politics. It is against this background that we make the following proposals for the development of safe and legal paths to protection in the European Union.
The proposals include:
- establishing and maintaining, preferably civilian, search and rescue operations at sea with a rather wide scope;
- reception conditions for persons seeking protection , at least in line with EU minimum standards, and access to asylum procedures;
- considerable increase of places for the resettlement of refugees from different crisis regions to European states;
- suspension of visa requirements for refugees from war areas and dictatorships like Syria and Eritrea;
- humanitarian visa for refugees from crisis regions;
- more flexible and generous opportunities for family reunification for refugees;
- mutual recognition of positive asylum decisions within EU and Schengen member states;
- fair sharing of responsibility for refugee reception between EU member states, inter alia and relocation and reception of refugees from Greece and Italy to other EU member states.