The goal: Fewer economic migrants

Fewer people who have no grounds for asylum will come to Europe and more of those who are rejected will return. That is how the purpose of the Pact can be summarised.

The ambition is to make life more difficult for people smugglers and for countries that use migrants as a kind of weapon against Europe.

There was also pressure to get this done before the EU election campaign kicks off – the hope is that the divisive issue of migration will not overshadow everything else in the election campaign.

What's not included?

The elephant in the room, which is not included in the pact, is cooperation with countries outside the EU. By far the most effective way of keeping people who have no grounds for asylum out of Europe is for them not to leave at all. In addition, all those who are to be sent back must be received by some country, which has so far been one of the problems with getting people to return.


The pact is criticized from several quarters: Both for violating human rights – that people will be held in prison-like conditions and that the right to asylum is being eroded.

But also from the other side, that there will still be incentives to come to Europe irregularly or illegally. And that this should not be a common EU policy, each country should be allowed to decide for itself who is allowed in and who is not.

See the list in the video above for some of the key elements of the agreement.