EU Members Reach Agreement on Reforming Migration Laws

Wed Dec 20 2023
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BRUSSELS: The European countries and lawmakers reached an agreement Wednesday on an overhaul of the bloc’s laws on handling migrants and asylum-seekers, officials said.

The reform includes creating border detention centers, speedier vetting of irregular arrivals, accelerated deportation for rejected asylum applicants, and a solidarity mechanism to take pressure off southern nations experiencing big inflows, according to AFP.

Spain, which chaired the lengthy talks in its role holding the EU presidency, said on X that a political deal has been reached on the five files of the EU’s new Pact on Migration and Asylum.

Margaritis Schinas, European Commission Vice President, said that it has been a long road to get here. But we made it. The continent is finally delivering on migration.

Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen added that migration is a common European challenge, and today’s decision will allow us to manage it together.

European Council to Give Formal Assent to Agreement

The agreement still needs to be formally assented by the European Council, representing the 27 EU member states, and the European Parliament before it enters the bloc’s lawbooks.

The migration problem has taken on a harder political edge in Europe in recent years with the rise of nationalist anti-immigrant parties in several EU nations, including Sweden, Italy, and the Netherlands.

The negotiators were keen to reach a workable agreement that could be enacted before the term of the current European Parliament ends in June next year.

But dozens of charities that help migrants — including Oxfam, Amnesty International, Caritas, and Save the Children — have criticized the changes, stating in an open letter that the package would create a “cruel system” that is unworkable.


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