#Migration_and_Asylum_Package: New Pact on Migration and Asylum documents adopted on 23 September 2020
Migration has been a constant feature of human history with a profound impact on European society, its economy and its culture. With a well-managed system, migration can contribute to growth, innovation and social dynamism. Key societal challenges faced by the world today – demography, climate change, security, the global race for talent, and inequality – all have an impact on migration. Policy imperatives such as free movement in the Schengen area, safeguarding fundamental rights, ensuring security, and filling skills gaps, all call for an effective migration policy. The task facing the EU and its Member States, while continuing to address urgent needs, is to build a system that manages and normalises migration for the long term and which is fully grounded in European values and international law.
The New Pact on Migration and Asylum offers a fresh start to address this task. The refugee crisis of 2015-2016 revealed major shortcomings, as well as the complexity of managing a situation which affects different Member States in different ways. It unearthed genuine concerns, and brought to the surface differences which need to be acknowledged and overcome. Above all, it highlighted a fundamental truth inherent in the nature of the EU: that every action has implications for others. While some Member States continue to face the challenge of external border management, others must cope with large-scale arrivals by land or sea, or overpopulated reception centres, and others still face high numbers of unauthorised movements of migrants. A new, durable European framework is needed, to manage the interdependence between Member States’ policies and decisions and to offer a proper response to the opportunities and challenges in normal times, in situations of pressure and in crisis situations: one that can provide certainty, clarity and decent conditions for the men, women and children arriving in the EU, and that can also allow Europeans to trust that migration is managed in an effective and humane way, fully in line with our values.
The New Pact recognises that no Member State should shoulder a disproportionate responsibility and that all Member States should contribute to solidarity on a constant basis.
It provides a comprehensive approach, bringing together policy in the areas of migration, asylum, integration and border management, recognising that the overall effectiveness depends on progress on all fronts. It creates faster, seamless migration processes and stronger governance of migration and borders policies, supported by modern IT systems and more effective agencies. It aims to reduce unsafe and irregular routes and promote sustainable and safe legal pathways for those in need of protection. It reflects the reality that most migrants come to the EU through legal channels, which should be better matched to EU labour market needs. And it will foster trust in EU policies by closing the existing implementation gap.
This common response needs to include the EU’s relationships with third countries, as the internal and external dimensions of migration are inextricably linked: working closely with partners has a direct impact on the effectiveness of policies inside the EU. Addressing the root causes of irregular migration, combatting migrant smuggling, helping refugees residing in third countries and supporting well-managed legal migration are valuable objectives for both the EU and our partners to pursue through comprehensive, balanced and tailor-made partnerships.
In designing the New Pact, the Commission undertook dedicated high-level and technical consultations with the European Parliament, all Member States, and a wide variety of stakeholders from civil society, social partners and business. The New Pact has been shaped by the lessons of the inter-institutional debates since the Commission proposals of 2016 to reform the Common European Asylum System. It will preserve the compromises already reached on the existing proposals and add new elements to ensure the balance needed in a common framework, bringing together all aspects of asylum and migration policy. It will close gaps between the various realities faced by different Member States and promote mutual trust by delivering results through effective implementation. Common rules are essential, but they are not enough. The interdependency of Member States also makes it indispensable to ensure full, transparent and consistent implementation on the ground.
The New Pact on Migration and Asylum:
·robust and fair management of external borders, including identity, health and security checks;
·fair and efficient asylum rules, streamlining procedures on asylum and return;
·a new solidarity mechanism for situations of search and rescue, pressure and crisis;
·stronger foresight, crisis preparedness and response;
·an effective return policy and an EU-coordinated approach to returns;
·comprehensive governance at EU level for better management and implementation of asylum and migration policies;
·mutually beneficial partnerships with key third countries of origin and transit;
·developing sustainable legal pathways for those in need of protection and to attract talent to the EU; and
·supporting effective integration policies.