To date, the news in the Middle East, the influx of migrants on European, especially Italian, shores, and in Calais, the growing diversity in the population of European cities, like Brussels, these are situations, among many others, that call for a change in our perception of migration and migration flows, particularly in Europe...
While we fight against the risk of indifference, this change in perception is strongly supported by Pope Francis and the European authorities, among others.
So far, the question of migration and integration (or even assimilation) is generally discussed in quantitative and problematic terms and not in terms of a common path, of a co-integration in which everyone recognises each other on the threshold of an evolution, of a renewed togetherness, lastingly peaceful, ethically fruitful.
Josefa, along with other institutions, asks us to remember that migration is above all human and that, free or forced, it concerns a man, a woman, a child, a family, a community, religious or not, in short a face or a look.
We need to hear more than ever that migration concerns every man, directly (freedom of movement, asylum, migration, integration) or indirectly (memory, hospitality, meeting), and above all the whole man (cf. June 2013, the Declaration of religious leaders initiated by the High Commissioner for Refugees).
To hear in each one of us a migrant, to listen to those who have experienced exile, a forced migration, is important for our present and future generations, in social, but also economic, terms. Migration in Europe is a fact, a right and an opportunity for our societies seeking human resources/skills, seeking a renewal of their economy: what greater creative forces than those of experienced refugee entrepreneurs who have to rebuild (themselves), together, with all of us, in an ethical and sustainable way, for their benefit as well as for that of their host society? The radical challenge is to add value to the common good around the "vital resources" that we share.
More fundamentally, a Europe in search of values and common horizons can and should be transformed by the arrival/presence of migrants, who have taken refuge on European soil, a soil that has been very fertile, over the centuries, in terms of hospitality.
Therefore, by way of proposal or inquiry, it seems that following the leaders of many religious faiths, and many politicians, in cooperation with the many stakeholders working for a new European approach on migration, we have to rise up to the challenge of promoting a significant change in perception, then in attitude.
The migrant is not the other, who is facing me, whom I “reach out to”, but me, yesterday, today and tomorrow.
As for borders, they exist for purposes of identity or security, of course, but they must also convey what they are: passages and exchanges.
The migration flux is an opportunity for us to show our hospitality, to experience the benefits of an encounter, to show the full potential of our economies, tangible or intangible, and especially to give a coronal meaning to the values that Europe is supposed to embody: memory, diversity, equal dignity of all humans, and the spirit of sharing "our wealth", the fruits, if any, of our migrations, inside and outside of Europe.
Our political leaders should understand that enshrined at the heart of a European, or even global, governance of migration, their own opinions and personal migration must serve the European community as a whole. They must also serve the spirit from which radiate the poverty and wealth of Europe, created by the migrations that are part of human history in its present and in its future, in the service of a universal common good fully enriched by the migration of one another, for the benefit of the peace of the European nations and in accordance with specific freedoms: in order to build a world "without frontiers" (Pope's Message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, January 2015).