The European Parliament and EU Member States have reached agreement on a comprehensive reform of the European Asylum System (CEAS) and EU migration policy. The European Commissioner for Migration, Margaritis Schinas, announced this in the morning.
The reform provides for stricter asylum rules, asylum procedures at external borders and a mandatory solidarity mechanism between member states. The aim is to ease the burden on main arrival countries such as Italy and Greece.
A central element is that asylum seekers arriving with little chance of staying are expelled more quickly and directly from the EU’s external border.
If people have a nationality with an asylum acceptance rate below 20 percent, they must be detained at the border. Your asylum application must be examined on site and within twelve weeks using an accelerated procedure. Anyone with no prospect of asylum must be deported immediately.
Prison conditions at the border
The crisis regulation regulates how EU states act in the event of a particularly sharp increase in migration. Arrivals can then be held at the border for longer in conditions similar to those of a prison. Germany has long rejected this proposal due to humanitarian concerns.
A so-called solidarity mechanism aims to help overburdened external border states with admission programs or compensation. It has been said that the reform does not change the principle that the EU state in which the asylum seeker arrived is responsible.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) considers this agreement a “very important decision”. “We are thus limiting irregular immigration and easing the burden on particularly affected states, including Germany,” Scholz wrote on social media.
Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) called the agreement key to controlling and ordering migration. In this way, humanitarian standards could be protected and irregular migration could be limited.
Complete identity and security verification
The reform package includes the new control regulation. The aim is to ensure that the correct procedure is quickly determined for a person entering the EU without meeting the entry conditions.
“Through comprehensive identity and security checks, we ensure that we always know who is entering the country and create a better basis for subsequent procedures,” explained Birgit Sippel, rapporteur on the control regulation and spokesperson for the internal politics of the S&D Group in the EU. . Houses of Parliament.
“At the same time, the right to asylum is respected and human rights are respected during the selection process,” said Sippel. “Those who are particularly at risk receive rapid support.” The selection process will introduce a new fundamental rights monitoring mechanism, which will monitor compliance with European and international law.
Birgit Sippel: final assessment still pending
There is also fundamental political agreement on the other legal initiatives of the asylum package; the exact design of certain sections remains to be defined. “We will make a final assessment of the entire package in the coming weeks,” Sippel said.
As early as 2022, the Parliament and the next Council presidencies agreed to adopt the pact on asylum and migration in full by April 2024. The plenary session of the Parliament and the member states still have to approve the agreements.
“This has been difficult work and required a lot of determination from the negotiators, both in Parliament and within the Spanish presidency,” said Gaby Bischoff, S&D group vice-president in charge of migration, summing up the years of negotiations on the subject. asylum.
“It will take more work and determination to implement the new rules on the ground and ensure that fundamental rights, including the right to asylum, are fully respected,” Bischoff said.
Criticism of asylum reform
Non-governmental organizations criticize asylum reform. European charity Caritas said the reform would not solve the EU’s asylum problem, but would restrict access to asylum and the rights of those seeking protection.