The migration pact was the possible agreement in the European Parliament before the elections, but will it have to be changed in the next term?

For eight years, the European Union (EU) has been trying to reach an agreement regarding the reception and treatment of refugees and asylum seekers. After several attempts at compromise, the migration and asylum pact was approved by the European Parliament (EP) in the final stretch of the legislature. Although it is considered a historic reform, it is legislation that divides opinions. Both in Member States and in European political groups.

With ten dossiers, this pact involves cooperation between the 27 EU countries to ensure equitable sharing of the burden. “Member States tried to deal with migration alone, but the reality is that migration was placed on the shoulders of a few,†explains Tomas Tobé, Swedish EPP MEP (to whom belong to the PSD and the CDS) and one of the rapporteurs of this regulation. “Migration is not an issue that each Member State can resolve alone,” he declares.

This legislation provides for strategies such as the implementation of a solidarity mechanism to support countries most under pressure from the arrival of refugees, registration of people upon reception, faster treatment request for asylum, among other measures.

Asylum seekers and migrants on a boat near Paleochora in southern Crete after being rescued from the sea


“There was initially a polarization between extremes and we tried to preserve the spirit of conciliation and concertation. Either way, at the end of this process, we are all dissatisfied. It seems that this is the characteristic of a good compromise: no one gets everything, everyone has to make concessions,” says Fabienne Keller, French MEP from the liberal Renew group and one of the rapporteurs of this pact.

Dissatisfaction is precisely the feeling highlighted by PCP MEP, João Pimenta Lopes. “Measures are implemented that are not even related to aspects that are enshrined in international law,†he states. Practices such as “the collection of fingerprints of children from the age of six are established, a kind of obligatory solidarity is imposed, a distribution of those who manage to arrive and undergo the procedures of analysis, which are intensified, which are prolonged over time, implementing measures to detain migrants, including families and children”.

João Pimenta Lopes is critical of “mandatory solidarity†, which he considers to be “very great cynicism†. When Ukraine was invaded by Russia, thousands of Ukrainians chose to seek refuge in another country. Around 3.8 million Ukrainians were distributed across the various countries of the European Union, through a directive established since 2001, Eurostat data reveals. “There is something here that is incomprehensible: how mechanisms are activated that are considered in some cases and not in others†.

The MEP also argues that it is necessary to intervene on the underlying causes of migration, including the “almost neocolonial processes of European Union countries that intervene to exploit what are resources, but which are not o create the conditions for economic, social and cultural development”.

“We voted against it and, of course, this implies that, despite what we have often heard said, it is still not a measure that satisfies and a measure that thinks about people before thinking about borders†€, says Anabela Rodrigues, BE MEP.

Between 2020 and 2023, the number of refugees in the EU increased by around 173%. It is the region in the world that receives the most refugees, according to the Migration Atlas published by the European Commission. To receive and welcome refugees appropriately, Anabela Rodrigues argues that it is necessary to review the issue of externalization of borders, especially due to agreements with “countries that do not usually respect human rights. human beings and it is important to value once again that this system must come out of the balance.”

Vasco Becker-Weinberg, CDS MEP, states that this legislation will harmonize the rules and allow cooperation between countries. This mechanism of “mandatory solidarity†means, in this parliamentarian’s opinion, that States that suffer from greater migratory pressure will be helped in the relocation of newly arrived people, in immediate and long-term operational support deadline, as well as reception.

“The pact has this fundamental pillar which is legality, by guaranteeing that situations must be treated in accordance with the law, allowing legal stay in European territory and their treatment quickly; and even situations that do not allow permanence are likely to be resolved as quickly as possible,” he says.

PSD MEP, Lídia Pereira, also considers this reform to be a step towards a “good path†and highlights that “the extremes normally feed on this agenda and the moderate center managed to enter†and “deliver results†. “It is clear that it is not a perfect agreement, but it is preferable for us to have this legislation than not to have any at all,†she says.

Lídia Pereira admits that there is a strong probability that the pact will be reviewed in the next term, but emphasizes that it is necessary to implement the measures and monitor the Member States to ensure that “they are fulfilling the responsibilities to which they have committed†. The regulations will apply from 2026, after the necessary changes are made to national legislation to include these laws.

“Unfortunately, it is not our Migration Pact,†declares João Albuquerque, PS MEP, who explains that the measures approved in the final version were not what the group of European socialists would have liked to have included.

Although the political group he represents does not fully agree with this pact, the socialist deputy concedes that “the next composition of Parliament could be much more conservative, with a much more xenophobic and much more anti-immigration speech.” §tions”, so “this was the window of opportunity we had to create mechanisms of effective solidarity that improve what were the previous conditions of the Dublin Regulations”, which established that the country of arrival dealt with the asylum request of the migrant who had arrived in the EU.

First-time asylum applications

The process of approving the migration and asylum pact was accelerated to take place before the European elections, where there is fear of a change in the composition that would favor the forces more. those of the extreme right, explains the independent MEP from the Greens/European Free Alliance group, Francisco Guerreiro (ex-PAN). In this parliamentarian’s opinion, the debate on this topic “deserves more time†and “more maturity†.

Legislation was needed that “combated the external forces that traffic these human beings, that also guaranteed the internal security of the European space, naturally, and that an effectively harmonized system could be achieved of distribution of these people†. The ambition to achieve this balance “was not achieved”, he states.

With a strong discussion on the topic throughout this campaign for the European elections, it seems inevitable that this pact will continue to be discussed in the EP and that, eventually, it will even be revised.

“This is not a solution to the issue of asylum and migration, because there is no single solution. Immigration is part of the history of humanity: people move from problematic areas to prosperous areas. Even in Europe, historically, we have migrated. The question is more about how we manage it, how we incorporate it into our policies, taking into account the development of the Schengen area,” explains Fabienne Keller, rapporteur of one of the texts of this proposal. As far as possible, the pact is “an effective and coherent response†.


Francesco Giganti

Journalist, social media, blogger and pop culture obsessive in newshubpro

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