The Council of the European Union has reached an agreement on key asylum and migration laws, marking a step towards modernising the EU’s rulebook.
Commenting on the Council’s agreement on a negotiating position on the asylum procedure regulation and on the asylum and migration management regulation, the Swedish Minister for Migration, Maria Malmer Stenergard, said that no Member State can deal with migration challenges alone.
She further stressed that EU countries must uphold their commitment to the agreed-upon rules and noted that frontline countries, in particular, require unwavering support, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
“No member state can deal with the challenges of migration alone. Frontline countries need our solidarity. And all member states must be able to rely on responsible adherence to the agreed rule. I am very glad that on this basis, we agreed on our negotiating position,” the statement of Minister Stenergard reads.
One of the main objectives of the asylum procedure regulation is to streamline the asylum process across the EU. The regulation sets out common standards for the duration of the procedure as well as standards for the right of asylum seekers.
The regulation also aims to prevent abuse of the system by setting obligations for applicants to cooperate with authorities throughout the process.
In addition to the above-mentioned, the Council said that the asylum procedure regulation also seeks to expedite the assessment of asylum applications at the external borders of the EU.
Moreover, in order to carry out border procedures, the Council notes that the Member States of the EU need to establish an adequate capacity in terms of human resources and reception.
“At the EU level, this adequate capacity is 30,000. The adequate capacity of each member state will be established on the basis of a formula which takes into account the number of irregular border crossings and refusals of entry over a three-year period,” the Council highlighted.
Addressing the imbalance where some Member States bear the majority of applications for asylum, the Council has also proposed a new solidarity mechanism. It said that the new rules combined mandatory solidarity with flexibility and stressed that no Member State would be obliged to carry out relocations.
Furthermore, the Council noted that there would be a minimum annual number of relocations from the Member States. The number has been set at 30,000, whereas the minimum number for financial contributions yearly will be fixed at €20,000 per relocation.
The asylum and migration regulation also includes measures to avoid secondary movements and prevent abuse by asylum seekers. For instance, the regulation sets obligations for asylum seekers to file an application in the Member State where they made the first entry.
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