International Migrants’ Day: statement by the Committee

On the occasion of the International Migrants Day, the Committee on migration, refugees and displaced persons of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) calls for a review of European policy on migration and asylum, with emphasis on solidarity ,the protection of human rights and control of external borders.

The past year has seen unprecedented levels of human displacement and migration around the world. The causes of these movements are manifold and various and will not be resolved for years to come. We are in fact experiencing a phenomenon of historic proportions, one that may define the times in which we live.

Europe, although not the most affected region, is confronted by challenges that would have been unimaginable a year ago. Uncoordinated reactions may have short-term effects for isolated countries but will solve nothing in the longer term. What is worse, they will undermine decades of painstaking work to ensure peaceful relations between the numerous states, large and small, that make up the Council of Europe.

Above all, European leaders must remember that the refugees and migrants are fellow human beings. Ensuring that their dignity and rights are respected and protected is part of our common duty to humanity.

How Europe acts now will chart a course for the future and define our age for coming generations. Peace, security, prosperity and our most basic common values are at stake.