Photo: Paul Jeffrey
The following is a joint press release with the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME).
Press Release No: 15/37
11 September 2015
Five of Europe’s ecumenical organisations have called on the ministers of the EU Justice and Home Affairs Council for a unified, ambitious and rights-based refugee and migration policy. The Conference of European Churches joins with the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME), Eurodiaconia, ACT Alliance EU, and EU-CORD in this appeal.
The letter calls for commitment from the European Union and its Member States to consolidate efforts to save lives of refugees, increase the places for the resettlement of refugees, and put in place policies enabling safe and legal pathways to Europe.
A number of other recommendations are made hoping that policies will meet the needs of asylum seekers, refugees, and economic migrants. “People across Europe show that that they want Europe to provide protection and opportunity for those who are in need of it,” said CCME General Secretary Doris Peschke. “We, along with countless others, cannot accept the death, destitution, and dehumanisation taking place across our Union.”
The majority of those seeking safety and a new life in Europe come from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, and Eritrea. The International Organization for Migration estimates that 350,000 migrants have been detected at EU external borders so far in 2015. Upwards of 2,600 have drowned in the Mediterranean and hundreds other through failed land crossing efforts.
“As the humanitarian crisis in Europe and its neighbourhood escalates we must increase our efforts in advocating for a just, humane, and faithful response,” remarked CEC General Secretary Rev. Dr Guy Liagre.
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Conference of European Churches
The Conference of European Churches (CEC) is a fellowship of some 114 Orthodox, Protestant, Anglican and Old Catholic Churches from all countries of Europe, plus 40 national council of churches and organisations in partnership. CEC was founded in 1959. It has offices in Brussels and Strasbourg.