Roundtable on the EU Facilitation Directive: Protecting the right to provide humanitarian assistance to migrants & refugees

EU Facilitation Directive - event in the European Parliament 15 Nov 2016

Venue: European Parliament, room A5E3 Date: 15 November 2016 Time: 12:00-14:30

The roundtable is full for participants that do not already have access to the Parliament

Co-hosted by:

Carlos Coelho (EPP), Elly Schlein (S&D), Cecilia Wikström (ALDE), Judith Sargentini (Greens/EFA), and Social Platform

The EU Facilitation Directive states that anyone who intentionally assists an undocumented migrant to enter or transit across the EU is breaking the law, as well as those who profit financially by helping undocumented migrants to reside in the EU. In many cases, this means organised smuggling rings, employers or landlords who seek to exploit undocumented migrants’ vulnerable position. However, the Facilitation Directive does not rule out imposing similar sanctions on individuals or organisations that offer humanitarian assistance to undocumented migrants. This could include the provision of emergency shelter, food and medical attention, even if these services are delivered to the undocumented migrant free of charge. As Social Platform we want to stop criminalisation of those who act in solidarity by offering humanitarian assistance. Read more about Decriminalising Solidarity.


Interpretation: Spanish / English

12.00-12.30 Registration

12:30-12:40 Welcoming remarks

  • Hosting MEP: Cecilia Wikström (@CeciliaWikstrom)
  • Pierre Baussand, Director of Social Platform (@social_platform)


12:40-13:30 Criminalising solidarity: State of play

  • Hosting MEP: Elly Schlein (@ellyesse)
  • Jennifer Allsopp, Independent Researcher and co-author of the European Parliament study on the EU Facilitation Directive (@JenniferAllsopp)
  • Manuel Blanco, Founder of PROEMAID – Spanish NGO criminalised by Greek authority (@proemaid)
  • Discussion


13:30-14:20 Recommendations to the EU and ways forward

  • Hosting MEP: Carlos Coelho (@CarlosCoelhoPE)
  • Paula Schmid Porras, Researcher and Lawyer, representing PROEMAID (@pschmidp)
  • Dana Spinant, Head of Unit C1 ‘Irregular Migration, Return and Readmission’, DG Migration and Home Affairs (@EUHomeAffairs)
  • Discussion


14:20-14:30 Closing remarks

  • Hosting MEP: Judith Sargentini (@judithineuropa)
  • Olga Vukovic, Senior Campaigner at – ‘Criminalising humanity’ petition signed by more than 132.400 citizens across the EU (@wemoveEU)


Contact: Annica Ryngbeck