05 November, 2016
Resolution in support the enhancing of global human mobility, the strengthening of external borders
Adopted by the UEF Federal Committee, 5 November 2016, Cologne

Bearing in mind that:

In his Annual State of the Union on 14 of September 2016, President Juncker referred to the progress made on the management of the migration-refugee crisis, stressing that more solidarity is still needed. In particular, President Juncker urged EU Member States to bridge divergences and differences between "those who are reluctant to integrate refugees in their societies and those who are convinced that a fair share in relocation and resettlement is of the essence".

During the last few months tangible progress has been made in the management of migration-asylum crisis and the reinforcement of the external border security. In particular, since the entry into force of the EU-Turkey Agreement, the irregular crossings from Turkey to Greece have decreased sharply with an average daily arrival of less than 100 persons per day. An important number of EU experts on asylum and migration have been deployed in Greece and Italy supporting the frontline countries in the hotspots on a daily basis regarding the identification and the registration of the new arrivals, thereby speeding up the whole asylum process. In addition, for reinforcing the operational capacity and facilitating the quick implementation of all measures taken, the EU stepped up an important funding envelope aimed at improving the living conditions for refugees, migrants and asylum seekers, focused in particular on the needs of refugee children and unaccompanied minors. Even on relocation and resettlement, significant progress was made despite the delay of the first months and the need for a more active approach and simplification of existing rules and procedures.

In the area of internal security, important measures have been taken enhancing security in Europe by improving the exchange of information in the fight against terrorism and strengthening the management of the EU external borders: first, the European Border and Coast Guard will start its activities in October with an official launch in Bulgaria. In addition, significant progress was made on the adoption of an EU entry/exit system (EES) and  proposal was presented for the creation of a European Travel  Information and Authorisation System. Concrete actions are ongoing for reinforcing Travel Document Security and Europol with the creation of a European Counter Terrorism Centre, a European Migrant Smuggling Centre and a European Cybercrime Centre.

The outcome of this very intensive agenda was not reflected in the political realities in the EU Member States. In fact, despite the powerful speech of Chancellor Merkel, Italian Prime Minister Renzi and other political leaders defending European values, political and legal commitments taken by EU for ensuring protection and safety of hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing the wars in Syria and Iraq, important populist and anti-immigrant movements have been rising in many of them. The mishandling of the first months of the refugee crisis, the terrorist attacks, the January events in Cologne were “attractive” events for some politicians who started  to exploit them relentlessly for their own benefit, defining nationalist ideologies and perceptions, challenging the European construction and Europe's role in the world. In this context, the Orban referendum in Hungary on October 2, even if it failed to achieve the required 50 percent turnout to make the results valid, is not only the expression of xenophobic, nationalist and anti solidarity perceptions but also a clear challenge of the implementation of EU law.

At a worldwide level, the September 2016 UN Summit on refugees and migrants was a great opportunity for the European Union to advocate for global shared responsibility and to stress the need to move towards new tools, i.e. the Global Compacts. The European Union shall promote win-win solutions, avoid clashes between the North and the South, developing a holistic approach on global human mobility and setting together with countries of origin, transit common objectives in line with the Sustainable Development Goals/Agenda 2030.

In this context and having in mind the previous Resolutions adopted by UEF in June 2016 in Strasbourg,

the Federal Committee of the Union of European Federalists, meeting in Cologne on 5 November 2016 commits itself to taking all necessary actions at its level

to welcome the results of the 2016 UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants; as stated in the New York declaration and support collective efforts to address the challenges of human mobility, recalling the political priority to save lives, protect rights and share responsibility on a global scale.

to underline the need for a strong and comprehensive common position which will allow the European Union to ensure a leadership as a global player in view of the 2018 International Conference leading to the adoption of a global compact  for safe, orderly and regular migration.

to underline the importance of a secure and well-functioning Schengen area and welcome the establishment of a European Coast and Border Guard and the special support mission to Bulgaria.

to preserve,  when developing the European Travel Information and Authorisation System, the right to travel into the Schengen area without fees for people from candidate and potential candidate counties, as this was one of the main achievements of long and complex visa liberalisation process.

to reiterate the necessity for a strong multi-disciplinary integration policy across the EU, setting out tangible policy priorities and tools to support the implementation of these priorities at local, regional and national levels.

to condemn populism and temptation of isolationism and promote the organisation of a new EU campaign against racism, xenophobia and thereby turn fear into hope.

to support the development of a comprehensive migration policy in line with the 2030 Agenda and the Valletta's Conference commitments and assess the possibility of taking inspiration for further actions from the EU-Turkey Agreement


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