Press Release

Card. Hollerich on migration: “Being European also means to put solidarity in practice”

Following the letter addressed to the European Commission by the Ministers of 12 EU Member States on the recent developments at the external borders of the European Union, I would like to express my concern about the situation of migrants and asylum seekers in vulnerable situation whose human dignity and fundamental rights should be upheld. Their right to seek asylum should be protected and states should respect the principle of non-refoulement of people at risk in their home country.

Syrian refugees arriving in Europe. (Photo: Fishman64/Shutterstock)

We believe that being European also means to put solidarity in practice. As Pope Francis stated in his 2020 message on Europe, “we dream of a Europe that is inclusive and generous, […] a welcoming and hospitable place in which charity, the highest Christian virtue, overcomes every form of indifference and selfishness”.

As Bishops of the European Union, we support increasing resettlement efforts by EU Member States, civil society, and Church actors, and to create legal and safe pathways for migrants, so to avoid them from falling into the hands of criminal networks of smugglers and traffickers.

In the context of the ongoing negotiations on the proposed EU Pact on Migration and Asylum, we call the European Union and its Member States to welcome, protect, promote and integrate migrants and asylum seekers, supporting a positive perception and narrative of migrants and their families.