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New Pact, new direction?

The EU’s upcoming Pact on Migration and Asylum provides an opportunity to choose another direction for EU asylum and migration policy.
 
 

06.03.20

Since 2015, the political discussion on asylum and migration in the EU have been characterized by division and disagreement. In particularly, the question of solidarity and responsibility sharing for refugees and migrants arriving to the EU’s external borders has divided Member States.  

When it comes to fortifying borders and keeping refugees out of sight however, EU Member States have been quick to find resources and joint solutions and to demonstrate solidarity and commitment.

With a regained unity and solidarity, the EU has reacted swiftly to the situation at the Greek-Turkish border. At the meeting this week of Interior ministers disagreements and differences were set-aside, and the EU Member States agreed on a plan to support Greece in protecting the EU’s external borders The Greek suspension of asylum applications, and forceful prevention of entry by refugees at their borders, have been met with nothing but support from the EU and Member States.

The EU’s upcoming Pact on Migration and Asylum provides an opportunity to choose another direction for EU asylum and migration policy. The threat is not the men, women and children fleeing persecution, conflict and violence who seek safety and protection at our borders. The threat is the steady legitimization and justification of an undermining of rights for refugees and migrants, and for those who support and assist them. The threat is the erosion of the global refugee system. The gradual normalization of the extreme, witnessed over the past five years in the EU’s migration and asylum policies within its borders and in its external actions.  

DRC appeals to the EU leadership to use the pending new Pact to bring rights back to the center of its asylum and migration policies and to use the regained unity in the EU to find joint solutions to improve asylum systems and migration responses. 

DRC recommends for the EU legislators to agree on a New Pact on Migration and Asylum that: 

  1. focuses on compliance with the EU asylum, and limit reform of the asylum acquis to the Dublin system, including a permanent solidarity mechanism.
  2. ensures effective access to the asylum procedure for all who seeks protection.
  3. supports integration of refugees with a view to long-term solutions.
  4. Supports responsibility sharing for providing protection – in the EU and beyond.
  5. promotes rights-based and conflict-sensitive migration cooperation and responses. 

Read DRC’s full recommendations on the New Pact on Migration and Asylum here.