COVID-19: Migration Committee head calls on States to show greater solidarity with migrants

Pierre-Alain Fridez (Switzerland, SOC), Chair of PACE’s Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons, has welcomed yesterday's ruling by the European Court of Justice that Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, by refusing to comply with the temporary mechanism for the relocation of applicants for international protection in 2015, “failed to fulfil their obligations under EU law”.

"The agreement reached by the EU in 2015 was an important humanitarian milestone, demonstrating solidarity with the states on the front line that had received the vast majority of migrants, in particular Greece and Italy. Unfortunately, this solidarity was not followed by all. A few countries received a high number of asylum-seekers under this relocation mechanism, even though only some of the eligible migrants were able to benefit from it," said the Chair.

"We are currently facing an unprecedented crisis inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In this context, asylum seekers, irregular migrants and internally displaced persons are twice as vulnerable. As we listen to calls for solidarity with countries affected by the pandemic, we note that this solidarity is too often one-sided. The European institutions and citizens across the continent must work together more than ever to help the most vulnerable, and to persuade those who might doubt it that the fairer and more humane society which the founders of the Council of Europe aspired to is built on this kind of mutual assistance.”