Last week, Eurodiaconia co-signed a statement urging the EU and member states to end the criminalisation of solidarity with migrants and refugees and the work of NGOs, civil society and volunteers.

A recent study of ReSOMA, the Research Social Platform on Migration and Asylum, identified at least 49 ongoing cases of investigation and criminal prosecution in 11 Member States involving more than 150 people. However, judges have found no sound evidence for convictions in most of these cases. This suggests that prosecutions are often used to deter solidarity and create a hostile environment for migrants.

The statement expresses the concern that criminalising solidarity distracts the public from the real and urgent issues in EU migration and asylum policies, such as the lack of protected entry and regular migration channels, inadequate reception conditions, and sustainable pathways for the inclusion of settled migrants. Against this background, the statement calls on the EU and member states to:

  • Promote a conducive environment to humanitarian assistance and solidarity towards migrants;


  • Broaden and facilitate the access to EU funding for civil society for humanitarian assistance to undocumented migrants and for actions promoting EU values and the rule of law;


  • Adopt and implement balanced EU migration policies that include safe and regular pathways to Europe, resettlement schemes, humanitarian visas, work permit and labour migration schemes that would contribute to the reduction of human smuggling and trafficking.

Eurodiaconia promotes and showcases the important role of civil society organisations in the integration and social inclusion of migrants. Our recent work explores how local authorities and civil society organisations can better work together to create integration models and more inclusive social services for migrants and refugees. In November, Eurodiaconia will host a network meeting in Athens, Greece on the social inclusion, caring and protection for children in migration. We are working hard to make sure this event will allow members to develop a sound understanding of the challenges faced by youth migrants, exchange best practices and enhance their capacity to provide care and protection for them.


To see all the recommendations please read the full statement.

To know more about Eurodiaconia’s work on the topic, you can read our report on integration at the local level or our policy paper on the social inclusion of migrants.