With 47 votes in favour, 17 against, and 1 abstention, MEPs adopted their position on the proposed update of the EU asylum and migration management regulation. The adopted text amends criteria to determine the EU country responsible for examining an application for international protection (the so-called Dublin rules), in particular regarding the introduction of established family or educational links to a certain member state.
The EU and its member states will act jointly to manage asylum and migration in compliance with international and EU law. There will be cooperation with non-EU countries on a range of aspects from readmission to legal migration. An annual situational report by the Commission will guide these common actions.
An annual “solidarity pool”, prepared by a new EU Relocation Coordinator and based on projected annual needs, will translate into pledges by the individual member states on how many people they will host (at least 80% of pledges) or capacity building measures provided (up to 20%). If the Commission determines these national pledges do not correspond to what is needed, it will (via so-called implementing acts) propose further relocations, to be distributed across EU countries according to a distribution reference key based on the population and the GDP of each member state.
In addition to the solidarity pool, EU countries under pressure because of the arrival of large numbers of migrants and asylum-seekers may benefit from additional voluntary solidarity contributions from other EU countries in the form of relocations or capacity-building measures.
Enhancing preparedness and resilience in crisis situations
With 46 votes in favour, 12 against, and 7 abstentions, MEPs adopted their mandate regarding new rules in case of crisis. They would apply temporarily when a member state is faced with mass and sudden arrivals of third-country nationals, derogating from the general framework. They should ensure that responsibility is shared fairly as well as protecting the rights of people applying for asylum and beneficiaries of international protection.
A crisis situation would be confirmed by the Commission, in consultation with the member state concerned and relevant EU agencies. Taking into account a variety of migration-related indicators, such as the geopolitical situation in third countries that affects migratory flows, the Commission will identify what support measures are needed. These will include additional capacity, but also mandatory relocations. Priority will be given to vulnerable persons. The rules also foresee granting international protection prima facie –without exhaustive analysis- to persons from specific countries of origin.
Finally, in crisis situations, border asylum and return procedures can be extended for an additional four weeks (in addition to 12 weeks). The Civil Liberties Committee adopted today also its position on new rules on screening of irregular migrants and faster asylum procedures.
After the vote, Tomas TOBÉ (EPP, Sweden), rapporteur for the new asylum and migration management rules, said: “The main purpose of this Regulation is to reinforce mutual trust between member states, aiming for true solidarity and fair responsibility sharing within the EU. Following years of political deadlock in the field of asylum and migration, the European Parliament has shown it is possible to find common ground. This is an important step forward, to a common European asylum and migration policy that is well functioning and long-term.”
After the vote, rapporteur Juan Fernando LÓPEZ AGUILAR (S&D, Spain), in charge of the crisis and force majeure proposal, said: “Thanks to the crisis regulation, the European Union will finally be able to address mass and sudden arrivals of third-country nationals and stateless people on European soil. It responds to the European Parliament’s long-standing calls to move away from ad-hoc solutions. After lengthy negotiations, we are now ensuring real solidarity among member states through a predictable and mandatory relocation mechanism, which will help to alleviate the pressure in the member state in crisis while safeguarding the rights of the applicants.”
MEPs also agreed to open negotiations with EU ministers on the final form of the two regulations. The decisions are expected to be announced at the 17-20 April European Parliament plenary session. If there are no objections in plenary, the talks with the Council can start once the Council is ready.