Press Release No: 18/14
26 March 2018
The Executive Committee of the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME) gathered for its second meeting since its election at the CCME General Assembly 2017 from 22 to 23 March in Brussels.
The Executive Committee concluded the search process for a new General Secretary by electing Torsten Moritz, who will follow Doris Peschke in the position as of 1 August 2018. The 48-year-old German is a doctor of political sciences. He was involved in the leadership of European ecumenical youth networks in the 1990s and 2000s and has served CCME since 2003, most recently as Executive Secretary for EU Policy and Projects.
The Executive Committee also reviewed a number of central migration and refugee policy developments in Europe. The issues of removals and humanitarian visas were the focus of two position papers which the Executive Committee discussed.
On both issues, the centrality of a human rights based approach was underlined. With regard to return policies, the Executive Committee supported the notion of truly voluntary return as well as the principle of human dignity in forced return/deportations.
On humanitarian visas, the Executive Committee supported the idea of a European Parliament own initiative report asking for legislation introducing EU humanitarian visa. Both papers will appear as joint comments in cooperation with other European Christian organisations working on migration.
In other parts of the meeting, the Executive Committee reviewed the membership development of CCME. It unanimously recommended to the next CCME General Assembly (in 2020) to accept the Armenian Inter-Church Charity Round Table Foundation (ART) as a member. The ecumenical foundation which was founded in 1997, works among other issues on poverty reduction, community development, peace and reconciliation and since 2012 on support to refugees from Syria.
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CEC Communication Coordinator
Tel: +32 2 234 68 42