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COMECE: Mgr. Jean-Claude Hollerich, “address the causes of migration” and “invest in peace-building policies”

Europe has done too little so far to address the causes of migration, to improve the living conditions of people in such a way that they are not obliged to emigrate, and has not invested enough in peace-building policies in war-torn countries. Mgr. Jean-Claude Hollerich, archbishop of Luxembourg and newly elected president of COMECE (Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community), said this at a press conference this morning, as he answered a question on the migration crisis that has hit Europe. “As a bishop – he said -, I am and I will always be in favour of the reception of migrants. There is no excuse or justification for not accepting migrants. But of course, there are different views in the East and in the West that must be heard. The most important thing is that we do not blame one another, without trying to deeply understand the reasons for the views of others. And see the reality. So I believe that dialogue should be encouraged and promoted also on this matter. But we also have to think together how to limit migrations. This demands that we do something at the political level, to combat in particular the causes of migration, not only by sending money, but also by investing in improving the conditions of people in such a way that they are not forced to migrate to Europe. This is what the European Union should do. We also think of refugees, of those who flee terrible wars like that in Syria. I fear that the European initiatives to create the conditions for and promote a lasting peace in those lands are very small. How can we help these refugees then, if we do not invest in genuine peace-building policies?”.

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