change language
you are in: home - news contact usnewsletterlink

Support the Community

June 21 2014

Asylum and immigration: the proposals of the Community of Sant'Egidio for Italy and Europe

On the occasion of the semester of the Italian Presidency of the European Union

printable version
Italy is moving towards the semester of the Presidency of the European Union at a particular time for our country and for Europe, with the possibility and capacity to promote a more effective policy on asylum and immigration, even in reason of its status as the border of the Continent, of which it is the main port on the Mediterranean.
•    It is estimated that over the last 15 years, 25,000 people - among them many women and children - have died due to the shipwreck or starvation during the journey. Those that face the dangers of the difficult journey are mostly refugees that are or would be entitled to apply for the measures of protection under international law and are governed by the legal system of the European asylum.
•    The influx of refugees reflects the geography of wars and widespread violence. In fact, of the 42,215 refugees landed alive in Italy in 2013 and of the more than 40,000 refugees arrived from 1 January to May 2014, 14,020 are Syrians, 13,500 Eritreans, 4,200 Somalis. There are also many Afghans, Malians, Sudanese and Nigerians.


After the tragic and emblematic episode of 3 October 2013 in the waters of Lampedusa, where due to the fire and sinking of an overloaded ship, 366 refugees, mostly Eritrean, died, including many women and children, and the subsequent sinking of 11 October with dozens of victims and missing people of Syrian origin, Italy has put in place an effective action patrolling the sea called Mare Nostrum, rescuing many boats in distress.
•    We therefore ask that the operation Mare Nostrum is maintained for as long as necessary, calling the European Union to support and strengthen it in the context of European action.


Asylum seekers and refugees arriving in Europe have a right to a dignified reception and care as is necessary. As their numbers have seen a relative increase - especially because of the tragic conflict in Syria and the continuing situation of grave human rights violations and widespread insecurity in other countries (including Eritrea, Somalia, Mali) - it is still definitely manageable streams from a country that, in the past, has been the destination of larger refugee flows (all humanitarian crises concentrated in the early 90s: Albanian, Yugoslavian, Somali, Kurdish, and - soon after - that of Iraq).
•    It is necessary to have, however, an authoritative body that governs the paths of the reception, which could be made up of a central authority with adequate powers provided for the distribution of refugees throughout the country; the first reception, strictly limited in time, might also be ensured enhancing the organisational capacities of the army.


•    It is necessary to establish European offices for immigration in some countries of the southern Mediterranean, through which to open a European humanitarian channel that frees refugees from the need to risk their lives on ships of traffickers, allowing them to seek protection in European embassies and in some of the countries of transit. Europe could start for example from Morocco, Ethiopia and Sudan, which are among the countries with the highest transit of refugees
•    It is necessary to enable and facilitate the request for entry visas accepting sponsorships and guarantees by family members or charities. 


Articles 67 and 80 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the Union provide that immigration and asylum policies of the Union are "governed by the principle of solidarity and fair sharing of responsibility between Member States"
•    We call on European policymakers to fully realize this principle of solidarity that currently does not find an adequate realization in the "Dublin System".
Currently the applicant for humanitarian protection is obliged to submit the request and to settle in the first European country of entry; but among the refugees landed in Italy in 2013 and from areas of severe humanitarian crisis, 66.5% applied for asylum in our country, 33.5% instead chose to continue their journey to other European countries, trying to rejoin with family members, relatives and fellow residents there. To do so, they found in most cases a condition of irregularity that could be avoided only by changing the current system.
Today, the flow of refugees fleeing war and persecution actually originate predominantly from Africa and the Middle East and then arrive in southern European countries where they get most of the recognition and protection.
IA large number of asylum seekers coming from non-EU European countries concentrates in some countries of Central Europe, but they are rarely entitled to receive the status of international protection (Russia and Serbia are at the second and fourth place among the countries of origin of asylum seekers).1
The current asylum system is therefore likely to leave in the south of Europe the persons entitled to international protection affecting the overall effectiveness of humanitarian policies of reception.
It is therefore necessary that the European Union should promote effective actions of redistribution of refugees from North Africa and landed in the southern European countries over all the territories of the Union.


Economic growth in Africa is fast but chaotic. It requires the involvement of the European countries and on the other hand it is an essential chance to get out of the ongoing crisis that they still suffer. Cooperation with Africa, especially with some of the countries of origin of refugees, is the most far-sighted response to the current humanitarian emergencies and the flow of desperate refugees today, preparing for a future of greater economic, political and cultural cooperation between the two continents.
•    We ask, therefore, that the great issues of international cooperation should be given more space in both national policies and in the European ones.
1 Eurostat Communique de presse 24-03-2014n.46/2014 Demandes d'asile dans l'UE28

December 13 2017

The new church in the House of Friendship of the Community of Sant’Egidio in Blantyre has been inaugurated.

IT | EN | DE | FR | PT
December 12 2017

The book "The Christmas Lunch" available online for free. DOWNLOAD! And prepare Christmas with the poor

IT | EN | ES | FR | PT | CA | NL | ID
December 5 2017

Let us not close our hearts, or look the other way. The presence of God today is also called ''Rohingya''. May each of us respond.

IT | EN | DE | FR | PT
November 25 2017

Thanksgiving with the poor in New York

IT | EN | ES | FR | PT
November 10 2017

We need to reject the culture of waste and to care for those labouring under painful disparities

IT | EN | ES | FR | PT
November 6 2017

Sant'Egidio at the UN Security Council to report on the situation in the Central African Republic

IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | CA | NL | RU
all news
December 25 2017

Im Mittelpunkt steht das Gebet für den Frieden

December 14 2017
Famiglia Cristiana

Andrea Riccardi: La mossa di Trump travolge la pace

December 4 2017
Sueddeutsche Zeitung

Arbeiten für den Traum

November 30 2017
Die Tagespost

Die Geschichte eines langen römischen Winters

November 28 2017
POW - Pressestelle des Ordinariates Würzburg

Erinnerung bleibt Aufgabe für alle

November 24 2017

Gemeinschaft Sant’Egidio sucht Unterstützer für Weihnachtsfeier

all press releases
November 28 2017 | ROME, ITALY

10th Int'l Congress of Justice Ministers ''A World without the Death Penalty''

September 12 2017

Lighting of the candelabras, signing of the Appeal and exchange of a sign of Peace

September 12 2017

Proclamation and delivery of the Appeal for Peace 2017

September 12 2017

Closing Ceremony

September 12 2017

Peace Procession

September 12 2017

Prayer for Peace

All meetings of prayer for peace
October 10 2017

On 15th World Day Against the Death Penalty let us visit the poorest convicts in Africa

October 7 2015

The World Coalition Against the Death Penalty - XIII world day against the death penalty

October 5 2015

Fallece un preso japonés tras pasar 43 años en el corredor de la muerte

September 24 2015

Pope Francis calls on Congress to end the death penalty. "Every life is sacred", he said

March 12 2015
Associated Press

Death penalty: a look at how some US states handle execution drug shortage

March 12 2015

Arabie: trois hommes dont un Saoudien exécutés pour trafic de drogue

March 9 2015

Peine de mort en Indonésie: la justice va étudier un appel des deux trafiquants australiens

March 9 2015

Le Pakistan repousse de facto l'exécution du meurtrier d'un critique de la loi sur le blasphème

March 9 2015

Australia to restate opposition to death penalty as executions loom in Indonesia

February 28 2015

13 Ways Of Looking At The Death Penalty

February 15 2015

Archbishop Chaput applauds Penn. governor for halt to death penalty

December 11 2014

C’est désormais officiel: Madagascar vient d’abolir la peine de mort!

go to no death penalty

Adam Michnik

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Argentina

Adolfo Pérez Esquivel

Archbishop, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Migrants, Holy See

Agostino Marchetto

Muhammadiyyah Association for Scholars, Morocco

Ahmed Abbadi

Directorate of the Grand Mufti of Oman

Ahmed Saud Said al-Siyabi

Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Egypt

Ahmad Muhammad Al-Tayyeb

all documents

Religions and Violence

Claretian Communications Foundation, Inc.

Making Peace

New City
all books

At the Roots of Terrorism
Opening Ceremony - Munster 2017
VIDEO: Stories of the Mediterranean: a Sea that Both Divides and Unites

177 visits

167 visits

167 visits

158 visits

160 visits
all the related media