EU: EU-27 agree to reform asylum procedures

Against all odds, the European Ministers of the Interior managed to reach an agreement among the 27 on Thursday evening for a reform of the EU's asylum policy after nearly three years of debate since the reform proposal was presented by the committee in September 2020. This reform, long hoped for by the countries of the south of the EU, should allow solidarity between the 27 in support of the countries of first entry, on which the bulk of the effort in terms of receiving migrants rests for the moment.

EU interior ministers have managed to reach an agreement among the 27 on a reform of the EU's asylum policy after nearly three years of debate. REUTERS/Srdjan Zivulovic

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With our correspondent in Brussels, Pierre Benazet

For southern European countries, the reform of asylum policy will replace the famous Dublin Regulation, which requires countries of first entry of migrants to manage reception and asylum procedures. They have been calling for its abolition for more than twenty years, they should obtain a simplification of procedures and a reduction in delays. A maximum of twelve weeks for migrants who are statistically least likely to be granted asylum, for example Senegalese, Moroccan, Tunisian or Algerian nationals. This would be accompanied by tighter border controls.

Above all, the reform should bring about a solidarity mechanism whereby 30,000 eligible asylum seekers would be relocated each year to an EU country other than the one through which they entered Europe. A mixed mechanism that combines compulsory reception and voluntary reception. States that refuse to accept their mandatory quota of asylum seekers would have to pay twenty thousand euros for each person so refused, a sum that will feed a fund dedicated to migration management. EU states cannot be forced to take in migrants, but in return they will have to help the states that receive them.

This agreement between the 27 constitutes a negotiating mandate with the European Parliament, which already adopted its position in April. To enter into force, the reform must require an agreement between EU states and MEPs.

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  • International migration
  • European Union