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Monday, February 27, 2017
Christian groups call for changes to EU asylum directive
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¬†Five Christian organisations say that a draft EU directive on asylum "does not provide adequate protection for genuine refugees" and "infringes the right of an asylum-seeker to have his or her case judged on its merits". They are calling on the EU Council of Ministers to amend the draft directive at its meeting on Thursday (19 February). The five organisations ≠ Caritas Europa, the Churches' Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME), the Secretariat of the Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community (COMECE), the Jesuit Refugee Service Europe and the Quaker Council for European Affairs ≠ are particularly concerned about two provisions in the draft directive. One would allow Member States to implement negative decisions on asylum applications even if an appeal has been lodged against it. "If the Directive does not allow for suspension under appeal, it will put refugees at risk and undermine the rule of law, one of the fundamental values of the EU", they say in their letter. The other would identify a list of "safe third countries" to which it is assumed asylum-seekers can be returned without endangering their safety. The Christian organisations say that no country can be described as safe in an absolute sense: "We should not simply take for granted that an asylum-seeker will be safe in his or her country of origin". According to the five organisations, "A fair, transparent and efficient asylum procedure is essential for the effective protection of refugees". If the EU's Ministers of Justice and Home Affairs cannot agree on appropriate amendments at their meeting in Brussels on 19 February, the organisations urge them to reject the directive. Source: COMECE
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