European Council: CCME “illusionary plans about keeping people out”

Churches in Europe have reacted with “disappointment” to the outcomes of the EU Summit on migration. As the General Secretary of the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME) Torsten Moritz said: “Once again the summit has missed the chance to discuss how the arrival and integration of refugees can be a success for all and instead discussed illusionary plans about keeping people out”. The CCME expressed “dissatisfaction” with the “regional disembarkation platforms” in third countries: at best, they will make “no impact” at all. At worst, they will become a “Guantanamo” at the EU’s external borders. According to Mr Moritz, if the EU wants to support refugee protection in the regions of origin or transit, “it could support the many existing camps, for example in Jordan or Uganda, which are already notoriously overcrowded and underfunded”. Mr Moritz also expressed scepticism regarding the “controlled centres” inside the EU, for their purpose is unclear. The resources allocated to border security and combatting irregular migration “will not resolve social and political problems”. Even the Secretary General of the Conference of European Churches (CEC) Heikki Huttunen expressed disappointment. “When we ask for safe passage, we ask for a system of safe and regular access to Europe for those in need of protection, and for labour migrants. This is the strategy we must pursue to reduce irregular migration and deaths at the border”.

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