Caritas Europa: “Member States must foster a welcoming Europe”

Statement on the occasion of the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, 15 January 2018

Member States must foster a welcoming Europe

On the occasion of the annual World Day of Migrants and Refugees, Caritas Europa calls on the European Union and Member States to foster a welcoming Europe that values a culture of encounter, where everybody is welcomed, promoted, protected and integrated. Now more than ever, Europe needs to ensure that no one is left behind, independently of their origins.

We are all responsible to offer more safe and legal options for migrants and refugees seeking to come to Europe (to welcome), to defend their rights and dignity, independently of their legal status (to protect), to ensure that all migrants and refugees, as well as the communities which welcome them, are empowered to achieve their potential as human beings (to promote), and lastly, to foster spaces for encounter and opportunities to understand the cultural richness that migrants and refugees bring to the communities (to integrate).

“Caritas will continue to promote welcoming societies and to share its best-practices in this field with decision-makers. This is part of our European commitment. We provide solutions that can be replicated elsewhere, up-scaled and can inspire new policies for more inclusive societies,” said Jorge Nuño Mayer, Secretary General of Caritas Europa. “We are hopeful that the European Commission will establish the European Year for welcoming societies during its next mandate 2019-2024”.

Caritas has thousands of projects that foster and promote migrant integration across Europe, along with concrete recommendations to policy makers at European and national level.

“The most important lesson learned in our daily interaction with the most marginalised is that working with migrants is just as important as working with receiving communities in order to contribute to a positive, constructive approach to integration that benefits everyone,” said Antonio Fantasia, Caritas Europa expert on integration.