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Asylum and migration: deal for more solidarity and responsibility sharing

  • Member states can choose between hosting asylum applicants and making financial contributions
  • Addressing crisis situations and instrumentalisation of migrants and asylum applicants
  • Asylum claims to be examined more quickly
  • Improved identification at arrival, including facial image and fingerprints, covering children from the age of six
  • Mandatory security and health checks for people entering the EU irregularly
  • Member states can choose between hosting asylum applicants and making financial contributions
  • Addressing crisis situations and instrumentalisation of migrants and asylum applicants
  • Asylum claims to be examined more quickly
  • Improved identification at arrival, including facial image and fingerprints, covering children from the age of six
  • Mandatory security and health checks for people entering the EU irregularly

On Wednesday, MEPs and national governments reached a long-sought agreement to revamp the EU’s asylum and migration legislation.

Parliament and Council negotiators agreed on the final form of five separate EU regulations, establishing how to share the management of asylum and migration flows among member states and what to do in cases of sudden migratory crisis. The rules also regulate how to deal with people arriving at the EU’s external borders, the processing of asylum claims, and the identification of those arriving.

Following the deal, EP President Roberta Metsola said: “”Today is a truly historic day, as we have delivered on the Migration and Asylum Pact, possibly the most important legislative package of this mandate.

Europe will now get a robust legislative framework that is the same in all Member States. That functions and that protects, an approach that is humane and fair with those seeking protection, that is firm with those who are not eligible, and that is strong with those who exploit the most vulnerable.

Migration was the number one concern raised by citizens across the Union in the elections 2019. Delivering on this package before the end of the year is a huge success for the constructive pro-European centre ahead of the start of an election year in Europe.”

The new asylum and migration management regulation foresees mandatory solidarity for EU countries recognised as being under migratory pressure, allowing other member states to choose between relocating asylum applicants to their territory and making financial contributions. The text also determines new criteria according to which a member state is responsible for examining international protection applications (ex-Dublin rules). Read more details about this file (soon available).

To respond to sudden increases in arrivals, the crisis and force majeure regulation establishes a mechanism to ensure solidarity and measures to support member states facing an exceptional influx of third-country nationals leading to the collapse of the national asylum system. The rules also cover instrumentalisation of migrants, i.e. when migrants are used by third-countries or hostile non-state actors to destabilise the EU, and foresee a possible temporary derogation from the standard asylum procedures. Detailed information on this new mechanism can be found here (soon available).

Under the new screening regulation, people who do not fulfil the conditions to enter the EU will be subject to a pre-entry screening procedure, including identification, collecting biometric data, health and security checks, for up to seven days. The specific needs of children will be taken into account and each member state will have an independent monitoring mechanism to ensure respect of fundamental rights. More about this deal here (soon available).

For its part, the asylum procedures regulation establishes a common procedure across the EU to grant and to withdraw international protection, replacing several national procedures. Processing asylum claims should be faster -up to six months for a first decision-, with shorter limits for manifestly unfounded or inadmissible claims and at EU borders. You can find here more information on this regulation (soon available).

Finally, the reform of Eurodac aims to identify those arriving at EU territory more effectively, adding facial images to fingerprints, including for children from six years old. Authorities will be able to record if someone could present a security threat, if the person is violent or unlawfully armed. More details on this text can be found here (soon available).

Next steps

The provisional agreement needs to be formally adopted by the Parliament and Council before it can become law. The co-legislators committed to adopt the reform of EU migration and asylum rules before the 2024 European elections.

 Copyright European Union