In the past years, migration and asylum have been prominent issues in the wake of national elections and will undoubtedly remain as such in the upcoming European elections. Moreover, asylum and migration issues have unfortunately often been used to disseminate fear among European citizens.

Alarmed by this trend and especially, by the current discourse based on intolerance and populist anti-migrant sentiments, Jesuit Refugee Service Europe and Jesuit Refugee Services offices across Europe call upon citizens in the EU to vote for a Europe that protects the rights, dignity and freedom of refugees and migrants in Europe.

It is crucial that the European Parliament candidates as well as the next European Parliament  commit to play a positive role in the lives of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants and specifically to :

1. Create more legal and safe pathways :


  • Guarantee the right to seek asylum in the European Union
  • Facilitate family reunification.
  • Encourage the Member States of the European Union to increase resettlement.
  • Create additional safe and legal pathways for people in need of protection.
  • Establish clear rules on humanitarian visas in the European Union.
  • End push-backs at the borders of the European Union.

2. Make detention of asylum seekers and migrants a policy of the past


  • End the detention of asylum seekers
  • Prohibit the detention of migrant and asylum-seeking children.
  • Stop the unnecessary detention of irregular migrants.
  • Migrants and asylum seekers in detention have never committed a crime.
  • Invest in alternatives to detention

3. Guarantee human reception conditions for all people asking for protection in Europe


  • Recognize that social inclusion of asylum seekers starts with dignified reception.
  • Promote small-scale reception facilities for asylum seekers.
  • Establish a reception system that ensures dignity.
  • Prevent asylum seekers from becoming homeless and destitute.
  • Build bridges with local communities.
  • Invest in cooperation between governments and civil society organisations.

4. Work towards the inclusion of migrants and refugees


  • Include migrants in broader social inclusion policies.
  • Benefit from existing experiences and best practices.
  • Foster dialogue between authorities and citizens’ initiatives
  • Invest in small-scale community building initiatives.
  • Create accessible language and vocational training.
  • Eliminate all barriers to employment access.

For more information, visit the website by clicking here

Political Parties On Issues

  • European People's Party
  • Socialists and Democrats
  • ALDE
  • European Greens
  • European Free Alliance
  • ECR Group
  • European Left



The On Our Watch project brings together Civil Society Organisations working on all kind of topics. As representatives of and in direct contact with citizens, organisations have a strong role to play in holding the European Parliament accountable to the public. By joining forces in the context of the #EUelections2019 (23-26 May), On Our Watch offers a comprehensive overview of the key issues that European citizens care about.

Want to join? Get in touch! Contact: christian.skriverik[@]europeanmovemnt.eu  | Address: Place du Luxembourg 2, B-1050, Brussels | Phone: +32 2 508 30 83