Caritas Europa: Migration Reform Begins at Home

LISBON, Portugal, JUNE 22, 2007 ( Immigration reform should focus on producing jobs and opportunities in countries of origin, and not only on preventative measures, Caritas Europa told leaders of the European Union.

A delegation of the aid organization met June 18-19 with Pedro Silva Pereira, minister of the Portuguese presidency of the European Union.

The presidency of the European Union rotates among the member states every six months, and Portugal will assume the presidency in July.

Martina Liebsch, president of the Caritas Europa Migration Commission, told the leaders that “the European Union needs to develop a global approach to migration which aims at achieving coherence with other relevant European Union policy fields, for example employment and integration, and development aid.”

The delegation also said that it is important to allow for safe and legal channels of labor migration to the European Union, and that “undesired migration cannot be prevented through restrictive measures, but only through creating new jobs and decent living and working conditions in countries of origin.”

With the basic goal of combating poverty, Caritas Europa encouraged the forthcoming policy makers to create the necessary framework to enable migrants to contribute to the development of both their countries of destination and of origin.