Council of the European Union Adopts Reform of Asylum and Migration System

Council of the European Union Adopts Reform of Asylum and Migration System

EU Adopts Reform of Asylum and Migration SystemThe Council of the European Union has adopted a landmark reform of the European asylum and migration system, establishing a set of rules to manage arrivals, create efficient procedures, and ensure fair migrant-sharing between member states.

The reform includes 10 legislative acts that overhaul the entire European framework for asylum and migration management. Key features include:

  • Screening Regulation: Establishes uniform procedures for identification, security, vulnerability checks, and health evaluations of irregular migrants and asylum applicants at external borders.
  • Updated Eurodac Database: Gathers more accurate and complete data, including biometric data, on various categories of migrants to inform policymaking and control irregular migration.
  • Asylum Procedure Regulation: Streamlines the European asylum procedure and introduces a mandatory border procedure for specific cases.
  • Return Border Procedure Regulation: Addresses the return of individuals whose applications are rejected in the border procedure.
  • Asylum and Migration Management Regulation: Determines which member state is responsible for examining applications for international protection and introduces fair responsibility sharing among member states.
  • Crisis Regulation: Equips the EU to handle asylum applications in exceptional circumstances.
  • Qualification Regulation and Reception Conditions Directive: Establishes uniform rules for granting international protection and standards for receiving asylum seekers, aiming to reduce secondary movements between member states.
  • Resettlement Regulation: Establishes common rules for resettlement and humanitarian admission, creating legal and safe pathways to the EU.

New Features and Mechanisms of the Asylum and Migration System

A major new feature is the mandatory border procedure, which applies to specific categories of asylum seekers and aims to quickly assess applications at the EU’s external borders.

The reform clarifies responsibility for asylum applications and introduces a solidarity mechanism for fairer burden-sharing. Member states can contribute through relocations, financial contributions, or alternative measures agreed upon with the benefiting member state.

A crisis mechanism allows member states to derogate from specific rules in exceptional circumstances and request enhanced solidarity from other EU countries.

Next Steps and Implementation

Member states have two years to implement the adopted laws. The European Commission will present a common implementation plan to assist them in this process.

The reform is part of the new pact on migration and asylum proposed by the European Commission on 23 September 2020. The European Parliament adopted the pact on 10 April 2024.

This landmark reform represents a significant step towards a fairer, more efficient, and unified European asylum and migration system.

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