Doris Peschke: Are faith and works in conflict on the EU external borders?


CCME is an ecumenical organisation that serves the churches in their commitment to promote the vision of an inclusive community through advocating for an adequate policy for migrants, refugees and minority groups at European and national level.


In the fulfillment of this mandate it is responding to the message of the Bible which insists on the dignity of every human being and to the understanding of unity as devoid of any distinction between strangers and natives.


  • Migration and Integration,
  • Refugees and Asylum,
  • Against Racism and Discrimination in Europe


EU and Europe

  • EU Enlargements 2004, 2007, 2012
  • Schengen: minus UK, plus Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein
  • Council of Europe
    • Convention Human Rights
    • Convention against Trafficking
    • Social Charter


EU Asylum and Migration

Only since 1999



  • Reception conditions
  • Qualifications Directive
  • Asylum Procedures Directive
  • Dublin III
  • Eurodac
  • Temporary Protection in case of mass influx


EU Return Policy and Borders

  • Return Directive 2008
  • Recognition of expulsion orders
  • Visa and Schengen Information Systems
  • Entry Bans
  • Joint Removal Flights

- Frontex – EU Border Agency, changed mandate 2012: Fundamental Rights strategy


EU development beyond CEAS

  • Recognition of protection status throughout the Union
  • EU Refugee Resettlement Programme
    • 20.000 by 2020
  • Relocation: transfer inside the Union (Malta, Cyprus)
  • Inner-EU solidarity and responsibility sharing:
    • ERF/AMIF
  • External Processing of asylum claims – a recurring debate


Mediterreanean Crisis

Since 2008: EU response closing borders

  • Spain
  • Malta
  • Greece
  • Italy


  • Cyprus
  • Iraq
  • Arabellion 2011
  • Syria


Migration and EU Borders

  • 16,7 mio refugees, 1,2 mio asylum seekers, 33,3 mio internally displaced persons (UNHCR)
  • 231,5 mio migrants worldwide

  • Mediterranean: 2013 Central European route


Deaths at EU Borders

  • More than 20.000 in the last 10 years
  • In the last year, 3.000 persons died in the Mediterranean
  • Italy: Mare Nostrum Operation since October 2013 rescued close to 100.000 persons until September 2014


Biggest refugee crisis since end of World War II

  • Call on neighbouring countries to keep borders open
  • Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey but also Syria and Iraq for reguees from the other country
  • At the same time, fences are built and reinforced in Northern Greece, Evros, Bulgaria, Spain

  • Consequence: chance of routes, increase of smuggling and trafficking


Faith and Protection

  • Faith-based approach to protection:
    • Every person is a human being created by God, in his image
  • Christian: The Other is my neighbour
  • Protection therefore focuses on the person and his/her aspirations
  • Aim: a new beginning!



  • Border security versus people‘s security
  • EU Budget allocation 2014-2020:
    • AMIF: 3,1 bio EUR
    • ISF Internal Security Fund: 3,8 bio EUR
  • Citizens‘ rights versus residents‘ rights
  • Human right to leave one‘s country, but no right to enter an other country
  • How many refugees can we take in? 


CCME: A Call for change of attitudes regarding migration in accordance with European values

  • A truly human approach to refugee protection in line with international and European conventions, including legal and secure access to Europe for those in need of protection
  • A common European asylum system including decent reception conditions as well as a Common European Resettlement scheme


Safe Passage

  • Resettlement – emergency and urgency, with UNHCR
  • Legal entry for labour
  • Humanitarian visa – principle and limits
  • Lifting of visa requirements in crisis situation
    • Reduce smuggling and trafficking
    • Increase security


Solidarity in Europe

  • Recognition of protection status
  • Distribution of recognised refugees more fairly in Europe, possibly also of asylum applicants, considering as priority the desires and personal situation of the persons


Churches´ role

  • New link between internal and external work:
  • International diaconia to be linked to national diaconia and joint advocacy
  • Ecumenical cooperation and coordination with denominational bodies – currently weak – requires strengthening to gain impact
  • Cross-regional cooperation: Churches in the Middle East and North Africa
  • Spiritual power to make a difference in society: credibility and integrity

Suomen Ekumeeninen Neuvosto / Ekumeniska Rådet i Finland       Eteläranta 8 / Södra kajen 8            PL / PB 210          00131 Helsinki / Helsingfors

Lahjoita Suomen Ekumeenisella Neuvostolla on Poliisihallituksen myöntämä rahankeräyslupa. Keräysnumero on RA/2021/1503 ja keräys on käynnissä koko Suomessa Ahvenanmaata lukuunottamatta.
Donera  Ekumeniska Rådet i Finland ordnar en penninginsamling med tillstånd från Polisstyrelsen. Insamlingsnumret är RA/2021/1503. Insamlingen pågår  i hela Finland förutom på Åland.