15 C
Tuesday, September 26, 2023
HomeWorldA European agreement described as "historic" on the immigration system... What are...

A European agreement described as “historic” on the immigration system… What are the most important provisions?


After difficult negotiations, the European Union countries reached an agreement aimed at revising a common reception system for asylum seekers. Two main texts were agreed upon, so what are the most prominent points of disagreement and agreement between the countries of the bloc?

Member states and the European Parliament will soon begin thorny negotiations over reforming the EU’s asylum system, after a hard-fought agreement was reached Thursday night between its interior ministers in Luxembourg.

The following are the main points of this agreement, which will be the subject of talks with the aim of adopting reform before the European elections scheduled for 2024.

border procedures

The agreement obliges member states to set up centers at the EU’s external borders (at land borders and at airports in particular) for migrants who have a statistically low chance of obtaining asylum.
The aim is that they not enter the European Union, provided that their asylum applications are subject to rapid examination in order to facilitate their return to their country of origin or country of transit. The procedure, i.e. the examination of the file and the referral, should last a maximum of six months.

For its part, the European Parliament considers that this measure is not mandatory.

Who are they involved?

The measures at the external borders will apply to migrants from countries in the European Union whose national recognition rate as refugees is less than 20%. This concerns, for example, citizens of Turkey, India, Tunisia, Serbia or Albania.

The majority of asylum seekers, for example from Syria, Afghanistan or Sudan, are entitled to go through the normal procedure. In 2022, about 966,000 asylum applications were submitted in the European Union.

According to the agreement reached between the member states, 30,000 places should be made available throughout the European Union under this measure, in order to eventually accommodate up to 120,000 migrants per year. Structures of this type already exist in a number of countries.

Oxfam denounces the European Union’s desire to detain asylum seekers, “especially children, in what looks like prisons on the borders of Europe.” But the European Commission stresses that the fast-track procedure is “more humane” to avoid migrants remaining in situations of uncertainty for long periods.

What about children?

Unaccompanied minors will not be affected by the border measures except in special cases. On the other hand, Germany has not succeeded in imposing an exception for families with children. This will be a point of discussion with parliament and she suggests that families with children under the age of 12 follow normal procedures.

The idea of ​​”safe” third countries is controversial

Italy, Greece, and Austria wanted to return migrants whose asylum claim was deemed inadmissible to third countries they considered “safe,” such as Tunisia or Albania, even when there were no special ties (family or work relationship) between the migrant and that country.

Germany and France opposed this idea. The compromise reached states that it will be left to each member state to assess whether simply transiting through a country constitutes a sufficient link to return the migrant back.

Member states have so far failed to agree on a common list of “safe” third countries.

Redistribution and financial compensation

The proposal, agreed to by the 27 countries, enshrines mandatory and flexible solidarity among member states in the care of asylum seekers.

Each member state will be required to receive a certain number of asylum seekers arriving in an EU country subject to migration pressure (relative to its population and per capita GDP) or to make a financial contribution to it.

The agreement provides for at least 30,000 resettlements per year for asylum seekers (from countries under pressure to migrate to other EU countries). The financial compensation offered is €20,000 for each asylum seeker who has not been transferred to a second European country. These sums will be put into a fund administered by UNHCR, which aims to finance projects related to migration management.

Who opposes reform?

Poland and Hungary, which refused to take quotas for asylum seekers during the 2015 crisis, voted against the deal on Thursday night, with Hungarian nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban calling it “unacceptable”.

The Greens and the left (radical left) bloc in the European Parliament, for their part, accused the member states of having “surrendered to the extreme right”.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

Latest stories