Southern Neighbourhood
European countries
Migration and mobility

The eagerly awaited new European Pact on Migration and Asylum was presented on Wednesday, September 23, 2020, in Brussels by the European Commission. Pending the approval of the 27 member states, the new Pact provides for major changes in the current European migration policy.

This new plan aims, among other things, to cancel the Dublin regulation which entrusts the responsibility for processing asylum applications to the country of first entry into Europe. There by, the country which will process the said requests will be the one where the migrant has a brother or sister, the one where he/she studied or worked or the one which issued a visa for him/her. \

In this context, Ursula von der Leyen said that “the old system, which left countries at the external borders to take care of asylum seekers on their own, is not working”. The new “European Pact on Migration and Asylum” also deals with the issue of solidarity between European countries in the management of migratory flows.

In this context, the European Commission will be proposing to the country subjected to a strong flow to request the activation of a “compulsory solidarity mechanism”. Once validated by the Commission, this mechanism makes it possible to distribute migrants to other EU countries.

These same countries can either accept to welcome migrants, or sponsor them to return (for those who do not have the right to stay in the EU) or even help in the construction of reception centers. In addition, the plan provides for a strengthening of border controls outside the EU. Migrants who are unlikely to obtain international protection will be discarded more quickly while the return of illegal migrants to their countries of origin will be “more efficient”.

Let us recall that the presentation of the new migration pact has been postponed several times. The new text must now be put to the vote of the 27 EU member states.