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Dhaka Tribune

EU gives final approval to migration and asylum reform plan

After years of debate, the EU is introducing new migration and asylum rules that include tougher borders and shared responsibility among the bloc’s members

Update : 15 May 2024, 04:26 PM

Economy ministers from the European Union’s 27 countries gave the final green light on Tuesday to an overhaul of the bloc’s migration and asylum policies.

The plan seeks tougher borders and shared responsibility for asylum seekers among the EU’s members.

The final approval comes shortly before the European Parliament election, with migration seen as a major topic.

Which countries backed the EU migration reform?

The pact, comprised of 10 pieces of legislation, was backed by a majority of the bloc’s countries despite opposition from Hungary and Poland. The new rules come into effect from 2026.

“These new rules will make the European asylum system more effective and increase solidarity between member states,” said Belgian Asylum and Migration Minister Nicole de Moor, whose country currently holds the EU presidency.

German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said the reform still helps people fleeing persecution, while making “clear that those who do not need this protection cannot come to Germany or must leave Germany much more quickly.”

Opponents of the pact have said it aims at keeping people out and infringes on their right to claim asylum. It has also raised fears that the EU would have to make more unscrupulous deals with countries that people leave or cross to get to Europe.

What is the EU migration reform?

The so-called New Pact on Migration and Asylum is a rulebook that has been in the works for over eight years.

Under the new rules, asylum-seekers will be identified within days of arrival in the EU, and their details will be stored in an EU database. This screening is meant to determine whether a person might pose a risk and their chances of being permitted to stay. 

Countries where migrants first arrive will be able to relocate a certain number of asylum-seekers to other EU member states. 

If one country thinks it is bearing too much of the burden, it will be able to request more solidarity. In crisis cases, all 27 member states will decide together.

The new pact will also allow for faster deportation of people to countries of origin or transit, if these have been declared safe.

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