As the COVID-19 pandemic swept across continents, it brought into sharp focus the critical role that the EU can play in bringing countries together in a common endeavour.At the same time, this crisis has also painfully exposed certain policy gaps, which have exacerbated existing inequalities and challenges for refugees and asylum-seekers within and beyond Europe.

The forthcoming presentation of a New EU Pact on Migration and Asylum presents a major opportunity to put in place a more fair, sensible and humane policy framework that works for both new arrivals and host communities. The existing challenges can be overcome, but only by a European approach to forced migration that puts people, rather than borders, at the heart of its policies.

In this briefing, the IRC outlines its recommendations for the new Pact to truly represent a “fresh start”, which upholds the rights of people on the move. These recommendations reflect our current programming and expertise in Europe and beyond, and strive to reflect the needs of those whose health and hopes will be most affected by the EU’s approach – men, women and children, seeking safety, solidarity and a better life.