FILE PHOTO: A member of the Red Cross assists a migrant after disembarking from a Spanish coast guard vessel, at the port of Arguineguin, in the island of Gran Canaria, Spain, May 30, 2023. REUTERS/Borja Suarez

A letter to the Spanish Presidency of the European Union and recommendations for a European asylum system that respects human rights

In International Advocacy Program, Parliament & the European Union by CIHRS

23 regional and international human rights organizations sent a letter to the Spanish presidency of the European Union on 23 June, calling on Spain to advance negotiations towards a new pact on migration and asylum that prioritizes the protection of the rights of migrants and refugees, and achieves the greatest possible solidarity and fairer sharing of responsibilities between member countries. This letter came as part of a renewed campaign joined by  more than 39,000 people and organizations around the world, to demand a more coherent and harmonised  European asylum system that puts the rights of refugees and immigrants at the center of its priorities.

Join the campaign by signing the petition here:

Text of the letter to the  Spanish Presidency of the European Union:

Letter to the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU

“Towards a New Pact on Migration and Asylum based on Solidarity”

 Dear Mr President Pedro Sánchez,

The New Pact on Migration and Asylum is a renewed attempt to achieve a more harmonised, solidarity-based and people-centred Common European Asylum System.

With a view to the upcoming Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union, we have high expectations of Spain in advancing the negotiations towards a New Pact on Migration and Asylum that prioritises the protection of people and the guarantee of their rights, as well as greater solidarity and a fairer sharing of responsibility among Member States.

To this end, and in line with the right to asylum enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, aswell as the Article 80 of the TFEU, we call on the Presidency to take the following actions:

  • Undertake a thorough reform of the rules for determining the State responsible for examining asylum applications, to overcome the dysfunctionalities of the Dublin system, ensuring a truly equitable responsibility-sharing, and promote a permanent solidarity mechanism based on mandatoryrelocation
  • Ensure that asylum applications are treated individually and with the highest guarantees, in full compliance with the principle of non-refoulement, from a gender and children’s perspective. To this end, fast-track asylum and return procedures at the borders as well as the legal fiction of “non-entry” should be Furthermore, the establishment of national independent mechanisms to monitor the respect of fundamental rights at the Union’s external borders is essential and it has to be implemented with the highest extent of efficiency, transparency and independence.
  • Guarantee a dignified reception and a unanimous response by all Member States to situations of forced displacement such as the Ukrainian crisis, and to the increase of people in distress at theMediterranean To this end, the Temporary Protection Directive must be protected and itsimplementation in other emergencies should be encouraged. Likewise, it is necessary to promote a safe and predictable European disembarkation mechanism with subsequent mandatory relocation.
  • Promote a greater commitment to the expansion of legal and safe channels to seek protection without risking one’s life in dangerous journeys. Furthermore, European development cooperationpolicy must be reoriented towards the eradication of poverty and the fight against inequality, whereasthe instrumentalization and conditionality of development aid to migration and border control must be

We look forward to a constructive cooperation between civil society and the Presidency, through a structured and regular dialogue with organisations working for migrants and refugees’ rights in Europe duringChairmanship. Together, we shall advance the Presidency’s work towards greater solidarity and a fair sharingsystem of responsibilities within our common migration and asylum policy.


  • Comisión Española de Ayuda al Refugiado
  • Amnesty International
  • Andalicia Acoge
  • ASGI
  • Centre for Pleace Studies
  • CPR
  • Deffence for Children (the Netherlands)
  • Dutch Council for Refugees
  • Forum Refugies
  • Medicos Sin Fronteras
  • RED acoge
  • Salud por Derecho (right to health foundation)
  • Greek Council for Refugees
  • ARCI
  • Euromed Rights
  • Accessing Rights
  • CNCD 11.11.11
  • Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies
  • Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression
  • Iridia
  • La Cordinadora
  • Amera International

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