Welcoming Newcomers to Europe

We will end ‘Fortress Europe,’ welcoming new arrivals to our continent, creating wide avenues for legal migration, ending the export of migration control to foreign countries, and preventing deportation to unsafe territories.


Humane Common Asylum System

Respect international and European law and guarantees newcomers’ fundamental rights

We are calling for a Common European Asylum System (CEAS) that respects international and European law and guarantees newcomers’ fundamental rights. The CEAS must protect the right of ‘non-refoulement’, which prohibits states from returning newcomers to places in which they face irreparable harm, including persecution, torture, or other human rights violations. We will fight to end the so-called “hotspot” system of migration control and rapidly improve migrants’ living conditions. Detention centres must be closed down, with a special emphasis on ending the detention of children. Reception facilities must provide decent housing, legal facilities, healthcare, and specific spaces for women and children to be safe from abuse. And asylum procedures should not be outsourced by extending the concept of safe third countries as discussed in reform proposals by the European Commission. The asylum application process must guarantee an informed decision in accordance with the rule of law. Asylum seekers are entitled to written information about the asylum process, including information about competent authorities, formal requirements, and time limits in a language they understand, as well as legal assistance by qualified asylum lawyers, with translation and interpretation free of charge. Final asylum decisions should be usually rendered within a few months — not within years, as is often the case today. Positive asylum decisions should be mutually recognised between European countries, allowing recognised refugees to move freely and settle wherever they have prospects for employment, family ties, or language skills. Communities and countries hosting refugees and migrants will receive funding and support within our integration and investment programme.

Ending Fortress Europe

We will introduce safe, legal, and open pathways to Europe

We believe that Europe should welcome newcomers — not push them away. That’s why we will introduce safe, legal, and open pathways to Europe. We propose to allow Schengen visas to be granted by EU consulates around the world. We will expand the EU Blue Card scheme so that job-seekers from outside the EU have the opportunity to come to Europe. We will introduce new education and labour mobility schemes that bring students and workers from outside Europe. And we will propose a legally binding obligation to issue humanitarian visa in consulates and embassies of EU states to people in need of international protection who wish to enter the EU to apply for asylum.

Ending the Externalization of EU Borders

We will terminate all deals that outsource EU border control to third parties

The EU and its member states currently collaborate with countries like Turkey, Sudan and Libya to reduce the flow of migration to Europe. The result is serious human rights violations, including detention, torture, and sexual violence. These conditions only encourage migrants to take more dangerous routes to Europe, with many lives lost along the way. We are calling for the termination of all such deals, including the EU-Turkey deal, agreements with Libyan authorities, and funding for migration control in Sudan, among others. In their place, we will increase cooperation and funding of international organisations working with refugees (UNHCR) and migrants (IOM), and we will support civil society organisations working with refugees, migrants, and potential migrants in their countries of origin and countries of transit. Cooperation with countries of origin and countries of transit should only be allowed if they not only respect human rights — including their right to leave— but also monitor them and implement measures to address existing cases of rights abuse case.

European Search and Rescue Operation

Saving people in distress at sea and bringing them to safety, as required by law

We are calling for the establishment of a European Search and Rescue Operation (ESRO) geared at saving people in distress at sea and bringing them to a place of safety — as required by international maritime law. While patrolling Europe’s external borders, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency — also known as ‘Frontex’ — has not prevented the deaths of migrants traveling sea routes to Europe. By establishing an ESRO, we are committing to zero deaths at sea.

Supporting Family Reunification

Family reunification is a fundamental right and a benefit shared by society as a whole

European Spring believes that family reunification is a fundamental right and a benefit that is enjoyed not only by migrants, but also by society as a whole. We will radically expand the eligibility for family reunification inside and outside the EU. We will adopt broader guidelines for identifying family members outside the EU, and we will introduce new Family Reunification Visas that grant rights of resettlement. We will allow for EU residents to apply on behalf of their relatives, rather than forcing their relatives to apply from their own country of residence. And we will expand the financing for family reunification in the Asylum, Migration, and Integration Fund in order to support those who lack the resources to travel to Europe. No one should be forced to enter into poverty or face exploitation to reunite with their family.

Political Rights for Migrants

For all newcomers to enjoy full EU voting rights after meeting basic criteria

We will fight to include all newcomers in EU politics in their places of residence. We believe that the right to vote is a crucial step towards participation, selfdetermination and integration in healthy democracies. We will fight for all newcomers to enjoy full EU voting rights after meeting basic criteria, such as a minimum period of residency. Moreover, we will lobby for programmes through which EU member states agree to grant this right in national elections and referenda.

Supporting Integration

We will increase funding to the AMIF and more local integration schemes

We believe that integration is a common obligation to support newcomers and a common opportunity to enrich European society. We will increase funding in the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) in order to guarantee access to education and language training. We will also increase funding to local integration schemes that foster exchange and offer training for newcomers.

Fighting Migrant Exploitation

A special body to investigate wages and working conditions in migrant communities

We believe that all migrant workers should be entitled to the same rights, benefits, and protections as European citizens. It is not migrants who lower wages, but a system that keeps them illegal, unskilled and under threat of deportation. We will fight exploitation by creating a special body to investigate wages and working conditions in migrant communities.