Christian organisations comment on proposed recasts of European directives on asylum
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BRUSSELS, June 2010—Christian organisations representing Churches throughout Europe offer joint comments on the recast asylum directives in Europe, calling for a "more ambitious and constructive approach in the Council negotiations".
Churches and Christian organisations welcome the consistency and determination shown by the European Commission in insisting on a firm improvement of the current wording of the relevant Directives and to rid them of those elements which have to date contributed to generally unsatisfactory levels of access to international protection in the European Union’s Member States.
We also call upon the European Commission to remain vigilant in so far as the application of the first phase asylum instruments is concerned and to constructively facilitate the negotiations between the EU Council of Ministers and the European Parliament, so as to reach an agreement on significantly improved (and not impoverished) texts. We especially call on the European Ministers for Home Affairs to take constructive action in order to create a real Common European Asylum System, of which the European Union can be proud.
Each party involved in the process of negotiation should bear in mind that a detrimental compromise, or the outright failure of the proposals, is in no one’s interest, be they the national administrations, the societies hosting beneficiaries of international protection, or the persons seeking protection. Article 18 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights provides that “The right to asylum shall be guaranteed” and Article 19, guarantees: “No one may be removed, expelled or extradited to a State where there is a serious risk that he or she would be subjected to the death penalty, torture or other inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”. These fundamental rights have to guide the difficult negotiations and to improve Europe’s role in international protection.