Still hope for Europe
In a statement following the recent European Parliament elections, the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Ireland issued a press release expressing their satisfaction with the outcome. They welcomed “the display of power by European citizens to repel inward-looking, nationalist, and anti-migrant version of Europe”.
According to the statement, “we gave a strong signal that Europe is home to people of all nationalities, notwithstanding the efforts of some to undermine the premises of the European project: hospitality, solidarity and the respect of human rights”.
JRS Ireland Assistant Director, David Moriarty, noted that “contrary to the anti-migrant discourse, it is proven that there is widespread support across Europe for embracing migrants and refugees in our societies”.
European institutions are still at danger from far-right elements, the statement further notes, even if they didn’t perform as well as pre-election predictions suggested. They are still capable to introducing ideas to the European Parliament which could reshape Europe’s political landscape for the years ahead.
According to the statement:
This can put at risk Europe’s capacity to effectively defend not only its citizens but also refugees and asylum seekers. With the unfinished negotiations on the asylum reform package being referred to the forthcoming parliament term, Eurosceptic voices can still impact whether humanitarian and solidarity-based asylum policies are adopted at EU and member state level.
With this in mind, the JRS calls on all pro-European parties “to work collectively with one another and build strong alliances for the cause of an inclusive Europe”.
“This is the way,” the statement continues,
to override xenophobic policies that will seek to dismantle EU’s capacity to protect and embrace all people, especially the most vulnerable. To succeed, we also need a more nuanced approach from pro-European parties, other relevant stakeholders and the civil society. We need civil society organisations at the table to leverage their existing experiences and best practices to influence EU decisions on policies and frameworks for refugees and migrants.
In conclusion, Mr. Moriarty expressed the JRS’s commitment “to work for a Europe that welcomes, protects and guarantees dignity for all.”