In a statement drafted by the European Council for Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), QCEA joined a group of civil society organisations to state a number demands and concerns in relation to the merged Regulation that is currently being discussed at the EU level: the Crisis, Force Majeure and Instrumentalisation Regulation.

The statement outlines why the current proposal would have a harmful effect on the fundamental rights of people seeking protection in Europe, significantly eroding existing protections and standards. Under a so-called ‘situation of instrumentalisation’ the reform would allow further delays and exceptions to Member States’ obligations, for example, by lowering standards for reception conditions, delaying registration, expanding the use and length of detention or restricting access to legal assistance.

Intrumentalisation is a new concept which has gained popularity in recent years to refer to a scenario where states use asylum seekers to advance their own political goals, namely by allowing them free passage through their territories and into the EU. However, this concept has been vaguely defined in the Regulation, and the signatories reject the concept altogether, as it impacts people who are seeking protection and not third-countries responsible for the ‘instrumentalisation’ of migrants. A key concern is that these derogations would become codified in EU law in an atmosphere of already eroding human rights standards for migrants and widespread lack of compliance with existing norms.

In view of today’s Coreper meeting (Committee of the Permanent Representatives of the Governments of the Member States to the European Union), civil society organisations ask Member States to ‘go no lower’ and offer a list the standards that should be upheld at minimum. The full statement is available here.