As many civil society organisations, the European Humanist Federation (EHF) is highly concerned by the lack of appropriate response to the humanitarian crisis caused by the numbers of refugees and migrants trying to reach Europe.
“We are committed to the building of a more humane society through an ethical approach based on humanism. We believe that refugees and migrants are first and foremost human beings who hold human rights and should be treated as such. Refugees and migrants not only contribute economically and demographically to our societies, they also bring with them new cultures and traditions that contribute to a rich and diverse society. Only a clear separation between religion and politics can accommodate everyone, regardless of religion or convictions. We therefore strongly condemn countries that seek to discriminate on the basis of religion or beliefs.” says Pierre Galand, EHF President.
We do not underestimate the practical difficulties but the EU needs a long-term vision on asylum and migration. The EU current policy has not only proved inefficient but also dangerous and costly in term of human lives: by blocking the legal ways to access Europe, the EU has reinforced the position of smugglers instead of weakening it. Europe must open safe access to its territory to all people claiming for protection.
The Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union has convened an extraordinary Justice and Home Affairs Council on 14 September 2015 in Brussels. The EHF takes this opportunity to call on JHA ministers and European leaders to:
- Urgently open legal and safe access for refugees and migrants to Europe and fully respect the principle of non-refoulement laid down in the 1951 Geneva Convention
- Organise a real European asylum and migration system based on solidarity between Member States to replace the inefficient Dublin Regulation
- Make sure that refugees and migrants arriving to Europe are treated in a decent way and respect their fundamental rights to life health, to a private life and to circulate freely
- Help migrants integrate into society in the host countries and tackle populist and inaccurate anti-immigration discourses
- Make EU development aid dependant on human rights and conflict resolution instead of making it dependant on border controls and readmission agreements
- Initiate an Article 7 TEU proceeding against Hungary and any other country like Cyprus and Slovakia that do not full respect European values as laid down in the treaties.