Our values are at risk: Let’s reclaim a welcoming Europe

Since our governments are struggling to handle migration, we – European citizens, students, volunteers, families, unions and communities of faith from all walks of life – have stepped in to help.

But our right to help is being criminalised as thousands of Europeans have been fined or arrested for simply offering humanitarian assistance to people fleeing persecution.

This is not the Europe that we want. Together we can reclaim those acts for what they are: reflecting our European and human values of community, compassion and kindness.

This is why we have joined forces to launch the first European Citizens’ Initiative to empower a #WelcomingEurope and reclaim our right to help. Through this direct democracy tool, we can compel the European Commission and Parliament to respond to our demands.

Ask the European Commission to:

  • Ban the criminalisation of solidarity in member states
  • Support European citizens who want to offer safety to people fleeing persecution
  • Guarantee effective access to justice to all victims of exploitation and abuse

Join us and sign our Citizen’s Initiative.

 Campaign launches:

  • 12 April – FRANCE
  • 19 April – ITALY
  • 3 May – BELGIUM
  • 9 May – LUXEMBOURG
  • 20 May – FINLAND
How can I support the campaign?
If you want to join our campaign, get in touch with us and send us an email:
Why is this important?
Offer solidarity to those in need

Did you know you can get punished or fined for helping someone in needDistributing food, giving a lift, buying a train ticket or rescuing a family from drowning can be enough to get fined or arrested in half of the EU member states. People are being called ‘traffickers’ for offering to help. This is allowed because EU law does not clarify the difference between trafficking, smuggling and humanitarian assistance. Since the European Commission refused to act and revise the law, European citizens will.

Offer safety to people fleeing persecution

Many of us are willing to welcome and provide safety to those in need whenever we are given the chance. As European citizens, we are ashamed that those fleeing persecution must risk their lives to be safe on our shores. EU citizens want to save lives and provide legal and safe ways for those fleeing persecution – and they should be able to do so! Through community sponsorship programmes, EU citizens can act as sponsors so that those in need can arrive to Europe safely and become quickly and easily integrated in communities. While community sponsorship already proved to be successful in many European countries, the EU does not have a budget line for it (yet).

Offer justice to victims of exploitation and abuses

We want systems that protect all people. But most non-EU citizens who are targets of trafficking, crimes or human rights abuses do not get justice or file complaints because they fear they will be deported by the authorities. But this would not be the case if the complaints mechanisms under EU law were effective. We call the European Commission to listen to its citizens who want a working justice system for all and guarantee more effective ways and rules to defend victims of exploitation and human rights abuses.

Take action now: sign our Citizens’ Initiative to reclaim a #WelcomingEurope.

What is a European Citizens' Initiative (ECI)?
A European Citizen’s Initiative (ECI) is the most visible and legally binding tool for direct democracy in Europe. If 1 million European citizens from at least seven member states sign the petition within a year, the European Commission will be obliged to hear the demands of the citizens in a formal procedure.
Why do you need all of this information?
The rules for collecting signatures are drawn up by each EU member state. Some member states require different rules for collecting signatures, such as entering your passport number. All the information you enter will be saved on secure servers and will be solely used for the purpose of the ECI and validating your signature.
What will you do with my information?
Your information is firstly encrypted (so no one can access it) and is stored temporarily on a secure server in Germany. Once enough signatures have been collected in your country, they are handed over to the officials in your country who will officially verify the signatures. Once the ECI has ended, #WelcomingEurope campaign will destroy all the extra information supplied for the purposes of this ECI. The campaign’s ability to perform these tasks securely has been certified according to the requirements of the European Union. All EU data protection rules and law apply.
Who can sign the ECI petition?
To support a European Citizens’ Initiative, you must be an EU citizen (national of an EU member state) and old enough to vote in European Parliament elections (18 in exception to Austria where the voting age is 16). For further information on your eligibility to sign, please refer to the European Commission website.

Join us and sign the ECI petition!

Add more details to validate your signature!

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We want the European Commission to provide

Solidarity

Stop governments that punish volunteers and civil society organisations for offering humanitarian help or shelter for refugees.

We call the European Commission to amend the EU Facilitations Directive in order to ban the criminalisation of solidarity.

Justice

Guarantee more effective means to protect all victims of labour exploitation, crime across Europe and human rights abuses at our borders.

We call the European Commission to strengthen the complaints mechanism in the regulations on border guards and labour directives.

Safety

Support citizens who want to offer refugees a new a home and build a new life.

We call the European Commission to provide direct financial assistance through the budget line to citizens, local authorities and NGOs which support refugees.

We want the European Commission to provide

Solidarity

Stop governments that punish volunteers and civil society organisations for offering humanitarian help or shelter for refugees.

We call the European Commission to amend the EU Facilitations Directive in order to ban the criminalisation of solidarity.

Justice

Guarantee more effective means to protect all victims of labour exploitation, crime across Europe and human rights abuses at our borders.

We call the European Commission to strengthen the complaints mechanism in the regulations on border guards and labour directives.

Safety

Support citizens who want to offer refugees a new a home and build a new life.

We call the European Commission to provide direct financial assistance through the budget line to citizens, local authorities and NGOs which support refugees.

#WelcomingEurope

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