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A fresh start with a new Pact on Migration and Asylum

25/09/2020 - 08:57
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On 23 September, the European Commission proposed a new Pact on Migration and Asylum, covering all of the different elements needed for a comprehensive European approach to migration.

The Pact sets out improved and faster procedures throughout the asylum and migration system. And it sets in balance the principles of fair sharing of responsibility and solidarity. This is crucial for rebuilding trust between Member States and confidence in the capacity of the European Union to manage migration.

“Migration has always been a fact for Europe – and it will always be,” said the European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, presenting the Pact. “Migration is complex. The old system no longer works. The Commission's Package on Migration and Asylum, which we present today, offers a fresh start. <…> Europe has to move away from ad hoc solutions and put in place a predictable and reliable migration management system. I am convinced that the Commission's proposal is a good foundation for that.”

Following extensive consultations with the European Parliament, all Member States, civil society, social partners and business, and an honest and holistic assessment of the situation, the Commission proposes to improve the overall system. This includes looking at ways of improving cooperation with the countries of origin and transit, ensuring effective procedures, successful integration of refugees and return of those with no right to stay. No single solution on migration can satisfy all sides, on all aspects – but by working together, the EU can find a common solution.

To build confidence and strike new balance between responsibility and solidarity, the proposed Pact on Migration and Asylum foresees six main strands of work:

  • Better and more effective procedures will ensure clearer responsibilities, helping restore trust between Member States. In particular, the Commission is proposing to introduce, for the first time, a pre-entry screening covering identification of all people crossing the EU's external borders without permission or having been disembarked after a search and rescue operation.
  • Well-managed Schengen and external borders. In particular, the European Border and Coast Guard standing corps, scheduled for deployment from 1 January 2021, will provide increased support wherever needed.
  • Constant, effective solidarity with Member States with many arrivals.
  • Skills and talent. In particular, The Commission will launch Talent Partnerships with key non-EU countries that will match labour and skills needs in the EU.
  • Deepening international cooperation on migration through comprehensive, balanced and tailor-made partnerships with key countries of origin and transit.
  • Flexibility and resilience.

In her press statement, President von der Leyen pointed out: “The European Commission is ready to step up as well. We want to provide rapid assistance. We will set up a joint pilot with the Greek authorities in Lesbos for the management of a reception centre. To implement this, we decided on the Task Force today.” “Together we have to show that Europe manages migration in a humane and effective way,” she concluded.