In recent years, Europe has served as a focal point of the global migration crisis, but European nations continue to struggle with building a coordinated response to the men, women and children seeking safety within their borders.
However, thanks to a new European Citizen’s Initiative (ECI) submitted to the European Commission this past December, citizens now have a chance to play a more active role in shaping migration policy on both the local and national level.
The We are a Welcoming Europe campaign is comprised of 130 civil society organizations, including HIAS Greece, working to promote solidarity and respect for refugees across the continent. The coalition’s mission is to collect one million signatures in at least seven member states in support of more humane approaches to the challenge of migration.
Today, the effort officially launched in Greece with the backing of Actionaid, Advocates Abroad, Caritas Hellas, Greek Forum of Refugees, HIAS, Jesuit Refugee Service, Klimaka, SolidarityNow and Terre des hommes.
Click here to read the announcement in Greek.
“Today, we, the citizens of Greece and Europe, are raising our voices so that we can welcome and advocate for those who are in need,” the press release stated, “regardless of their legal status or nationality and without fear of being prosecuted.”
Beyond the broad show of support, the campaign’s goals are to support the citizens and volunteers who want to help refugees, end the “crime of solidarity” which is in practice by several EU Member States, including Greece, and ensure the respect of the fundamental rights of migrants and asylum seekers.