What does Volt think? / Social Equity & Justice


Europe needs to act as one when it comes to refugees and the system needs complete reform, for countries on the periphery such as Malta are over-encumbered. Furthermore, all immigrants and refugees must have their human rights always respected.

Unified EU Refugee System

  • Work to set up a Unified EU Refugee Policy to define a unified approach to manage refugee flows from outside the EU. Within the EU, some countries are overwhelmingly taking in asylum seekers and refugees.

  • Aim to abolish the ‘Dublin principle’ that refugees must apply for asylum in their first EU country of arrival. 

  • Aim to create a fair resettlement system. The Dublin system needs to be and a settlement system must be defined (e.g. based on population, population density, wealth, age, and growth). The amended system should provide for penalties for those countries that do not abide by it.

  • Work with the EU to strengthen legal channels for migration. The EU needs to strengthen its legal channels for migration through visa programmes, scholarships, and work permits to avoid readmission agreements, which will in any case only be struck if the EU provides additional development funding to source countries. EU aid could be paid in instalments, and returns could be limited to future arrivals only so that States would not have to worry about a sudden spike in returns when people that are already in Europe are sent back to their country of origin.

  • Work at the source and tackle the problems that create refugee crises to prevent them, through international cooperation and diplomacy.


  • Make the asylum system fair, effective, and quick:

    • By shortening the time period until the final asylum decision is made.

    • By always providing social, legal, and psychological support with specialised services.

    • By allowing asylum seekers to enter the job market from the very first day.

(Asylum seekers are often not given the opportunity to gain employment or partake in other activities. This is problematic on many levels: it is expensive for countries to financially support them, leading asylum seekers to live in dire situations). Asylum seekers are often not given the opportunity to gain employment or partake in other activities. It is expensive for countries to provide them with enough money to live on. Often, insufficient resources are provided, leading asylum seekers to live in dire situations. Additionally, excluding asylum seekers from the workforce for the duration of the asylum procedure does not foster integration. Finally, it is against countries’ obligations under international law, human rights law, humanitarian law, and European guidance to support asylum seekers’ right to work. Indeed, “without the right to work, all other rights are meaningless (Louis Henkin, U.S. delegate at the drafting of the 1951 Refugee Convention).”

  • Ensure that asylum seekers’ and refugees’ rights are respected and that countries uphold their obligations arising out of international treaties.

    • Put an end to the practice of detaining asylum seekers under inhumane conditions. Practices that cause unjustified and undue detention should be stopped.

    • Ensure that the standards for the reception of applicants for international protection are complied with by all European countries

  • Continue the practice of protecting refugees for the duration of the risk. However, offer permanent residence to refugees after a certain period if they are still at risk (five to seven years) when certain criteria are met (for example clean track record, language skills, and knowledge of key elements of the country). However, refugees should always be encouraged and supported to return to their home countries, if they are safe, to be part of the rebuilding efforts. Immediate permanent integration, however, is required for certain types of refugees, such as unaccompanied minors or refugees with severe trauma from, for example, a conflict situation.

  • Ensure decent housing for every asylum seeker and refugee. Additionally, incentivise the adoption of decentralised habitations to foster integration, increasing the chance of securing jobs and of creating a new life in the host country

  • Enable reunification for long-term partners of LGBTIQ+ individuals.


  • Introduce training. The purpose is to teach the asylum seekers of Malta and Europe’s culture and values and to provide them with the opportunity to learn Maltese & English. This should be taught in a language in which the person understands, and this would facilitate integration. 

  • Involve the private sector and educational institutions in fostering integration by designing alternative accreditation systems for undocumented skills and qualifications, offering training courses and language classes, gathering early information to facilitate employment matching, and setting up platforms and communication channels to explain and openly discuss the rights and duties of people living in Europe.

  • Support the Victim Support Agency in combating racism, through educational campaigns, awareness campaigns, and ensuring migrants and minorities are aware of the service.

Economic Migrants

  • Economic migrants as a temporary workforce. 

    • Target temporary economic migrants when liberalising labour market mobility. A policy designed in this respect should facilitate circular labour mobility.

      • Actively assess the impact on the labour market of the Receiving and the Sending States to ensure a balance between the needs and demands. Commitments made should accommodate the outcome of such an analysis and mitigate the negative effects of increased labour mobility.

      • Support the active involvement of relevant stakeholders, such as employers and trade unions, when designing policy on temporary economic migration, both in Sending and Receiving States.

    • Ensure that a level playing field is created, in which temporary economic migrants have equal access to justice.

      • Use the expertise of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in designing policies that enable temporary migration of workers which adequately balances the interests of foreign and domestic workers

      • Support national and international prosecution agencies in the fight against human trafficking and in the creation of a global system to report trafficking crimes.

    • Develop a specific migration visa that should be made available to temporary foreign workers.

      • Visas for temporary foreign workers should be subject to a separate regime. Temporary foreign workers should not be entitled to apply for permanent residency or social security in the Receiving State. In turn, the labour rights of temporary migrant workers should be ensured by ensuring access to medical services, necessary insurances, and legal services, as well as compliance with local labour laws of the Receiving State

  • Economic migrants as a permanent workforce.

    • Push forward the establishment of a separate administrative procedure for permanent economic migrants, in addition to facilitating temporary economic migration.

    • Support and further develop existing efforts to ease permanent migration for highly skilled migrants, such as the EU Blue Card visa.

Irregular Migrants

  • Ensure that the fundamental rights of undocumented migrants across Europe are respected in case of detention and deportation. Ensure that the principle of non-refoulement is upheld.

  • Give particular attention to the rights of minors within the category of irregular economic migrants. The rights as contained in the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child must be respected in all circumstances.

  • Facilitate the creation of an administrative system within and across European countries which allows for the conditional change of status from irregular to the regular economic migrant.

Get updates on Equity & Justice

Leave your email address and we'll send you an update from time to time.

The 5+1 Challenges

Volt has defined 5+1 fundamental Challenges that need to be tackled in each European country and in Europe as a whole.

Why 5 + 1 Challenges?

The 5 Challenges are basically the same for every country, but their implementation can be adapted on the national level to take into account local realities.

The +1 Challenge – our proposal to reform and strengthen the EU – is identical across all our national programmes.

View the policy portfolio
  • 01

    Smart State

    Education and digitalisation are key elements of the 21st century

  • 02

    Economic Renaissance

    An innovative economy must be the engine of society's progress

  • 03

    Social Equality

    No-one should be left behind - no matter their gender, income, religion. or origin

  • 04

    Global Balance

    Europe needs to assume responsibility for its role in global challenges

  • 05

    Citizen Empowerment

    People must be empowered to influence politics beyond elections alone

  • +1

    EU Reform

    We love the EU - this doesn't mean there is no room for improvement