A balanced distribution of migrants should be legally binding, CoFoE told

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The creation of a legally-binding treaty ensuring the balanced and proportionate distribution of asylum seekers in the EU on the basis of solidarity and justice was one of the main recommendations presented by stakeholders from across Europe as part of the Citizens’ Panels held in the framework of the Conference on the Future of Europe.

Delegates gathered in Strasbourg on Friday to debate some 90 recommendations on a number of key themes ranging from economy to migration, from employment to the role of the EU in the world.

A report submitted as a basis for discussion says that the current Dublin System does not respect the principles of solidarity and justice, adding that it puts a heavy burden on the countries at the border of the EU, where most asylum seekers first enter EU territory.

“All Member States have to take responsibility to manage refugee flows into the EU on the basis of solidarity”, according to Jordi Sole I Ferrando, a Member of the European Parliament for the Republican Left of Catalonia.

Mr Ferrando also called for legal pathways to ensure migration in the economic sectors which require so while ensuring that such persons are not exploited. A new act to support legal mobility remains a crucial answer to issue of mismatches between supply and demand in the labour market, he insisted.

Elsie Gisslegard, a representative of the Swedish national panels highlighted the economic contribution of migrants, particularly through their role in ensuring European competitiveness in the global market. “We cannot waste the potentials that refugees bring with them. Getting a job in a new country is also the best way to ensure recommendation”, she added.

In this context, the EU was called on to provide support Member States in order to process asylum requests both at a faster pace and according to joint standards. In addition, humanitarian accommodation should be provided for refugees. To take burden off the arrival countries, the Report recommends that refugees be relocated within the EU quickly and efficiently after their first arrival into the EU so that their asylum request can be processed elsewhere within the EU.

For this, financial support from the EU as well as organisational support through the EU Asylum Agency is needed, the recommendations said.

The plenary session also tackled the separate issue of legal migration, with stakeholders pushing for a common European labour framework, including the harmonisation of working conditions throughout the Union, such as minimum salary and working times.

The Conference Plenary is debating the recommendations from both national and European Citizens’ Panels, and the input gathered from the Multilingual Digital Platform, grouped by themes.

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