PES welcomes focus on protection for Afghans in danger at EU High-Level Forum

07/10/2021

Ylva Johansson, European Commissioner for Home Affairs, holds a press point on following the High-Level Forum on providing protection to Afghans at risk. Photo: EC - Audiovisual Service

Ylva Johansson, European Commissioner for Home Affairs, holds a press point on following the High-Level Forum on providing protection to Afghans at risk. Photo: EC - Audiovisual Service

The PES commends EU High Representative Josep Borrell and Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson for convening a High-Level Forum on providing protection to Afghans at risk.

High Representative Borrell and Commissioner Johansson today bought together representatives from EU Member States, the European Parliament, and international partners to discuss the situation in Afghanistan, with a focus on Afghans who are most vulnerable following the takeover of the country by the Taliban. This includes women and children, but also human rights activists, journalists, lawyers and others.

Progressives in the European Commission are leading the way forward on international efforts to support Afghans in danger. The High-Level Forum is a follow-up to discussions in the G7 and in the extraordinary Justice and Home Affairs Council on Afghanistan.

PES President Sergei Stanishev said:

“We strongly support our progressive team in the Commission in this effort to step-up global cooperation to protect Afghans and relocate those in need to safe countries in a coordinated, safe and orderly way. Safe and legal pathways to protection are a crucial part of a functioning common EU asylum system. No single government has to face this challenge on its own - previous scenarios of selective solidarity and disproportionate pressure on frontline Member States, which lead to tragic loss of human life, must be avoided.

“It is important for the High-Level Forum to demonstrate Member States can work together as a Union based on shared values and solidarity and firmly contribute to the global resettlement efforts.”

According to UNHCR, more than 1.47 million people are estimated as being in need of protection. The EU must share responsibility and support countries hosting large numbers of refugees and step-up EU resettlement pledges. 

Speaking after the High-Level Forum, Commissioner Johansson outlined the very difficult conditions in Afghanistan and set out the support Europe is providing. She also expressed deep concerns - shared by the PES – about reports of pushbacks at the EU border, uncovered by Lighthouse Reports. Progressives want to see the fundamental values of the EU upheld and defended.