Implementation of the Asylum Charter, an obstacle course

Implementation of the Asylum Charter, an obstacle course

The grand coalition, formed in the European Parliament by the European People’s Party and the alliance of social democrats and liberals from the Renew Europe Movement, was in a hurry to close the reform of the Asylum and Migration Pact before the end of the legislature, one of the most important agreements. The most contentious and contentious negotiations of the past decade are in Brussels. Opinion polls have been predicting for months a strong improvement in the European elections, which will be held between June 6 and 9, in favor of the extreme right that is already present in many European governments, which led to a hardening of the response, so it was “now or never.” They achieved it on April 10, eight years after the major refugee crisis sparked by the war in Syria, and they backed it to the max on May 27 – with Hungary and Poland voting against and the Czech Republic and Slovakia abstaining. – Turning the page (at least for the time being) on ​​one of the great successes achieved by the legislative branch, which the main challenge will now be to implement and ensure its success.

It is one of the most insidious legislative packages – made up of dozens of regulations and directives – that the European institutions have managed to close in the past five years and which aims to restore order to the administration of asylum and migration, thanks to a common framework of rules clarifying what must be done from the moment a migrant or refugee arrives in Europe. Until the authorities take the decision to expel him or grant him international protection. All of this to avoid the futile battles we have witnessed since the 2015 crisis, when some member states flatly refused to welcome migration and ease pressures exerted by countries such as Greece or Italy.

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The wide-ranging reform, proposed by Brussels in 2020, includes a regulation on asylum and migration management with harmonized requirements for the 27 expedited screening procedures to be carried out in “reception centres” located at external borders, a crisis mechanism to address emergencies in the face of mass influxes. A potential move that would allow member states to lengthen screening procedures, and to review the Eurodac database while including information – also for minors from the age of 6, compared to 14 – to ensure that authorities have a “clearer picture” of who is in Europe and where they have applied for asylum.

In addition, to solve the problem of past and present lack of political will in the case of some Member States that have already confirmed that they will not accept the resettlement of asylum seekers, the Convention establishes a system of mandatory, but on-demand, solidarity. In other words, countries that do not want to take in refugees will be able to avoid the obligation – the idea is to resettle 30,000 every year – by paying a contribution of 20,000 euros for each rejected person or financing equipment, facilities or staff. In first-line countries

Despite the relief that came with approval of the charter, the new policies are unpopular outside the council. The Left and Green group considers that it undermines the right to asylum, that it will open the door to a systematic violation of the rights of migrants, and that it does not guarantee true solidarity. For the far right, although immigration policy is becoming stricter and more restrictive, it is not strict enough.

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Barriers

Voting against and abstention by the most rebellious states, as well as a hardening of tone in fifteen member states, which only a few days after the agreement was approved demanded “formulas” for outsourcing “asylum” claims, and transferring rescued migrants abroad. The European Union, or access to the external borders of the European Union, portends many difficulties for the reform, which will not enter into force until mid-2026 and which still has many obstacles to overcome: starting from its implementation and ending with the negotiation of the Returns Directive that allows for increased rates. Deportation, which is one of the main outstanding topics according to the European Commission.

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In addition, the next three six-month EU presidencies – Hungary from 1 July 2024, Poland from 1 January 2025, and Denmark from July next year – have either opposed the Treaty or requested, before the reform comes into force, that Changes and policies. Signing agreements with third countries, such as those signed by Italy and Albania to transfer asylum seekers to that country. On the other hand, the next stage will arrive in the coming days with the European Commission presenting an implementation plan outlining the legal and operational elements necessary to put the new treaty into effect.

According to the work schedule of the Community’s executive body, although confirmed, it is planned that Vice-President Margaritis Schinas will present a statement on June 12 on the implementation of the plan with the calendar and objectives that should reach the state members. Once Brussels unveils its guidelines, each member state will have to To develop and submit, by January 2025, its own national plan to ensure that it has the capacity to effectively manage the system (border infrastructure) and in a way that respects EU legislation and international law. Obligations (administrative procedures).

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