European Parliament Adopts Migration and Asylum Pact Despite Criticism

By Martin Banks*

Some MEPs have heavily criticised the result of a key EU political agreement on the Pact on Migration and Asylum.

The attack from the Greens and Left Group comes after the European Parliament adopted the Migration and Asylum Pact.

The Commission says the draft law “puts in place clear, reliable rules with more solidarity and shared responsibility among EU member states.”

It includes a new Asylum and Migration Management Regulation, a new Screening Regulation, a new Crisis and Force Majeure Regulation, revised rules under the Asylum Procedures Regulation, and a revised Eurodac Regulation.

But Greens/EFA group leader Philippe Lamberts told this site,“Building a fortress Europe by throwing up fences, paying off warlords and normalising inhumane practices will not stop migration.”

The Belgian MEP added, “The only responsible way to handle migration is to treat it with practical and pragmatic solutions based on solidarity and respect for fundamental rights, instead of pandering to the far-right. It’s clear that the current political class are desperate to claim that they have solved the issue of migration, regardless of the realities on the ground.

“The Pact will entrench existing problems by disproportionately focusing on deterrence, including through the widespread detention of people and children, while reducing their rights. It will shift ever more responsibility to third countries and greater financial resources to autocratic governments and warlords. The new asylum rules will outsource the responsibility for processing some asylum claims to outside the EU and will oblige Member States to apply rules that will prolong the detention of asylum applicants, including children. 

“Unfortunately, the Pact will force the Member States who have already borne the brunt of the migration issue, to continue to be responsible for the reception and hosting of newly arrived people in Europe. The immense complexity of the new rules, as well the new obligation on Member States to apply a series of sub-standard procedures will inevitably lead to more financial and administrative burden for already overstretched authorities.”

The Left Group is also angry at the deal.

A spokesman said, “The grand coalition of centre-right (EPP), liberals (Renew) and socialists (S&D) will be celebrating the New Pact on Migration and Asylum as an historic breakthrough. In reality this is nothing more than a shameful capitulation to xenophobic narratives and a betrayal of Europe’s professed values. Rather than heralding a new era of compassion and solidarity, it perpetuates a system of exclusion and oppression, condemning countless individuals to lives of uncertainty and fear.”

Socialist MEP,though, claim the pact will set the stage for a “fairer, more efficient, and more sustainable framework” to manage migration.

Iratxe García, S&D Group leader, noted, “Finally, after more than a decade of tough negotiations, and thanks to the unity of the S&D Group, we finally put a real European solution in place.”

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