“The EU budget, common principles to support the needy, and a new migration policy with a realignment of the Common European Asylum System – these should be the top priorities on the German EU Presidency’s agenda from next week”, Caritas Germany President Mgr. Peter Neher said in a statement today. “We expect the Federal Government to continue its negotiations in these areas and to advocate for a social, green and fair Europe”. For Caritas, the Federal Government has a special responsibility: a clear compass is needed to address the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, shape digitisation and protect the climate. The negotiations on the EU budget for the 2021-2027 period should take up much of the energy of the German Presidency of the EU Council. Caritas welcomes the proposed strengthening of the EU budget through the recovery tool that has recently been announced, but fears that the budget for the European Social Fund may be reduced. “The Fund is a European social cohesion tool”, said Neher, since “a well-equipped European Social Fund is absolutely necessary due to the pandemic”. According to Neher, it is also important to agree on a migration policy, including the common European asylum system, which should make clear that Europe as a common area and all EU Member States have a responsibility for those in need of protection. “The reform of the European asylum system should be based on the principle of humanity”, said Neher.