Magazine article European Social Policy

Outline of Diverse Opinions on the European Pact

Magazine article European Social Policy

Outline of Diverse Opinions on the European Pact

Article excerpt

MEP Patrick Gaubert (EPP-ED, France) is the president of LICRA, the International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism (re-elected in 2001 and 2004).

"The European Union's policy is not a policy of protection. Rather, it is a policy which promotes legal immigration. At the same time, we are therefore obliged to be extremely tough on illegal immigration." "Today, we can no longer welcome people who do not have a job, or if they do not have a decent home. What MEPs find intolerable is the way in which illegal immigrants live in different countries. Plus, with the crisis, like in Spain where many people do not have their working papers, there is no more work. If we cannot give a salary and an apartment, we have to take up one of the points of the pact: co-development. It is our responsibility to make it so that they do not leave their home country and to help them to leave better lives," says Gaubert, who does not rule out the possibility of residence permits with points and conditions, particularly the possibility to work and to speak the country's language.

Kris Pollet is responsible for immigratioand asylum policy at the European office of Amnesty International

Though this pact is not innovative, Amnesty International notes the imbalance in favour of monitoring, without this being counterbalanced, according to Pollet, by references to the respect for human rights, particularly during the return. "The return should be to the country of origin of the native of a third country concerned." In the event of a return to a transit country, the NGO demands guarantees on the capacity for protecting migrants. …

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