The European Union’s Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) has given the green light to the negotiating mandates on the Eurodac database and the regulations for screening nationals from third countries before they enter the EU and Schengen Area territory.
In a press release issued regarding the move, the Council of the EU notes that Coreper – which consists of each Member States’ permanent representative in Brussels – has adopted several first-stage texts in the framework of the New Pact on Migration and Asylum, proposed by the Commission.
“Coreper adopted Council negotiating mandates on the Eurodac and screening regulations. In addition, 21 member states or associated states confirmed the adoption of a declaration on solidarity, providing for a voluntary solidarity contribution mechanism, in the form of relocations or other types of contributions, particularly financial contributions,” notes the press release issued on June 22.
The Council asserts that this is a major step forward toward the reform of the bloc’s migration and asylum policy.
It also explains that the Eurodac is a large-scale IT system that helps with the management of European asylum applications since 2003 and contains information on asylum seekers and persons in irregular situations within the EU. It also contains the fingerprints of irregular migrants and asylum applicants who have been registered in EU and Schengen countries.
The newly adopted text on Eurodac intends to make it possible for the Member Countries to better deal with the irregular entry of third-country nationals, and to facilitate their return to their home countries, in cases when their intention to remain in the EU is without a basis.
The new Eurodac would also be able to better identify persons lodging multiple applications and would become more interoperable with other European information systems.
Regarding the screening of persons entering the EU and Schengen area, the newly adopted regulation intends to strengthen this screening by applying to all persons who do not fulfil the conditions for entry, including those who lodge an application for international protection.
The regulation foresees that screening will be carried out within five days of the arrival of a person at the external borders or at other dedicated locations.
Commenting on the approval of these new regulations, the EU Vice President Promoting Our European Way of Life Margaritis Schinas said that the EU is thus putting in place a voluntary, simple and predictable solidarity mechanism which will take some pressure off the Member States that are at the forefront of the migration challenge.
“At the same time, the new rules on border and migration management will ensure that efficient, secure and smooth procedures are available at each border to quickly direct people to the right procedures,” he added.
The EU Commission had revealed its proposal for a new Pact on Migration and Asylum, in September 2020, in a bid to reform the bloc’s migration approach by, amongst others, setting out improved and faster procedures throughout the asylum and migration system and balancing the principles of fair sharing of responsibility and solidarity amongst the Member States.
>> Skilled Migrants Would Have It Easier to Move to EU If New Migration Pact Is Approved