The reform of the EU migration regime is to be adopted by 2024
The European Parliament and the Permanent Representatives of the Czech Republic, Sweden, Spain, Belgium and France have agreed to approve the Migration and Asylum Pact by February 2024. The aim is for the legislation to be adopted before the next European elections in May 2024.
The document states that the pact, together with the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) “represent an absolute priority in the work of the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union, and the two parties should make the necessary efforts and cooperate as closely as possible in a spirit of sincere cooperation with a view to adopting the legislative proposals before the end of the legislative period 2019-2024”.
The document states that negotiations between the co-legislators should start by the end of 2022 in order to reach an agreement before February 2024.
“Citizens expect solutions to migration. Postponing decisions is not an option”wrote the President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola in a tweet.
“We have been pushing for joint EU action for too long. A major step forward that generates significant momentum towards realization[les objectifs]»She added.
However, despite the promise to complete the legislative reforms, no information was given on the reasons that would make this more likely than in the past.
National governments remain divided on reforming EU rules on asylum and migration, as has been the case since the crisis sparked by the arrival of large numbers of migrants in Europe, which preceded Syria’s civil war in 2015 fled .
Failing to reach agreement on a radical reform of the EU’s immigration and asylum system in the last parliamentary term that ended in 2019, the European Commission launched a Pact on Migration and Asylum in September 2020, the validation of which has been delayed due to disagreements between national governments.
After trying in vain to persuade EU governments to accept resettlement quotas, the “voluntary solidarity mechanism” proposed by France in the final weeks of its six-month EU presidency earlier this year invited EU countries willing to deport asylum seekers to include the south periphery of the block.
Thirteen EU countries have agreed to take part in this programme. Ministers also agreed to provide financial support to allow further relocations to take place.
Around 8,000 relocations have been decided so far, in line with the Commission’s target of relocating 10,000 asylum seekers from frontline states such as Greece, Italy and Malta to other EU countries in the first year. If the trial period works, it can be extended every year.
However, 16 EU states had proposed a more restrictive EU migration policy. In a joint declaration, the EU states called for greater protection of the EU’s external borders in order to prevent this “illegal migration” and a more restrictive return policy.
Most responsibilities for border management now lie with the Member States. The lack of a harmonized EU migration policy is one of the factors contributing to significant bureaucratic delays in processing asylum applications.
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