ETUC Statement on the much-awaited Pact on Asylum and Migration


15 July 2020

The upcoming EU Pact on Asylum and Migration must present a turning point in European migration and asylum policies.

The Pact should be ambitious and build on the lessons learned from the unprecedented crisis we are facing, while bringing forward a long-term strategy. We demand, in particular, that EU Member States urgently find a common agreement on asylum rules based on the principles of International asylum and sea rescue law, human rights, solidarity and shared responsibility.

An EU common asylum policy is a longstanding demand. A revision of the Dublin rules, based upon human rights and the EU principles of solidarity and genuine cooperation would make EU asylum policy fairer, effective and sustainable; a harmonisation of protection standards for asylum-seekers in all member states as well as human-centred, clear and mandatory mechanisms to assist and relocate asylum-seekers and refugees, must all be part of the Pact. We call on member states to uphold their obligations under the 1951 UN Geneva convention and 1967 protocol to provide legal protection to asylum seekers, including the principles of non-refoulement and individual processing of asylum claims.

The revision of the asylum rules should also introduce protection for those who already have a job or have participated in integration programmes and whose human dignity would be destroyed if they were deported or forced into irregularity.

A comprehensive migration and asylum agenda for Europe to which all member states commit is needed. It must be based on solidarity, responsibility, and full respect for human rights, and contain programs and measures for the socio-economic inclusion and well-being of asylum seekers refugees and migrants. Therefore, we demand that the European Commission’s ‘New Action Plan on Integration’ should particularly target the specific needs of migrants, asylum-seekers and refugees, and be supported by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) and managed by DG Home Affairs and DG Employment.

ETUC stands against exploitation of and unfair competition between local and migrant workers, and fights for full equal treatment in the labour market, in workplaces and in access to social protection, public services and regularisation pathways, and opposes any form of discrimination, xenophobia or racism. Trade unions are committed to promote a positive narrative on migration and refugees that is founded on principles of rights for all workers and solidarity, as outlined in the ETUC resolution on migration and asylum (2019-2023).