Members' Research Service By / June 26, 2023

EU pact on migration and asylum: State of play

According to the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU), the EU ‘shall ensure the absence of internal border controls for persons’ and shall ‘frame a common policy on asylum, immigration and external border control, based on solidarity between Member States, which is fair towards third-country nationals’ (Article 67(2) TFEU).

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Written by Costica Dumbrava, Katrien Luyten and Anita Orav.

In 2016, with unprecedented numbers of irregular migrants and asylum-seekers arriving in the EU, the European Commission proposed a package of reforms to the common European asylum system (CEAS). In June 2018, a broad provisional agreement was reached between the European Parliament and the presidency of the Council of the EU on several of the reform proposals. However, the agreement did not get the necessary support from the Member States. The reform stalled owing to persistent disagreements among the Member States on how to apply the principle of solidarity in practice and share their responsibilities in the area of asylum in a fair manner.

In September 2020, the Commission sought to revive the reform by putting forward a new pact on migration and asylum, offering a comprehensive approach aimed at strengthening and integrating key EU policies on migration, asylum and border management. The pact builds on and amends the previous reform proposals.

In line with the gradual approach proposed by the French Presidency of the Council in June 2022, the Member States reached agreement on several aspects of the reform relating to the screening and registration of migrants arriving at the EU’s external borders. Following an agreement in the Council in June 2023 on two key proposals, the negotiations between co-legislators can resume on most of the files, with the aim of finalising the reform of the EU migration and asylum system before the next European elections, in June 2024.

This is an update of a briefing originally published in December 2022.

Read the complete briefing on ‘EU pact on migration and asylum: State of play‘ in the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.

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