23 May 2014

Following a recent call by the German parliament for a European conference to encourage Members States to come together and make greater commitments to accept more refugees, ECRE has this week urged the European Commissioner of Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström, and Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, to support this initiative and to call on Member States to offer more resettlement places and help refugees to rebuild their lives.

ECRE stresses that without life-lines, such as resettlement or other complementary forms of admission, refugees fleeing the crisis are forced to choose between languishing in Syria’s neighbouring countries, where access to basic needs and education is extremely difficult, or risking their lives on dangerous border crossings.

ECRE has also sent a letter to the candidates for the presidency of the European Commission urging them to prioritise access to protection in Europe for refugees and the respect for the principle of non-refoulement. ECRE welcomes that, at the Eurovision debate last week, most candidates highlighted the need to create safe and legal ways for migrants to enter Europe and avoid more deaths at sea, but stresses that this campaign commitment has to be translated into concrete action.

Together with over 100 NGO partners, as part of the Europe Act Now #HelpSyriasRefugees campaign, ECRE has been advocating for European governments and the EU institutions to make a concerted European effort to offer protection to Syria’s refugees in a spirit of solidarity with the neighbouring countries that currently host the majority of those displaced.

This article originally appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin of 23 May 2014.
You can subscribe to the Weekly Bulletin here.