EU in radical reform of migration policy – mandatory redistribution of migrants proposed

Ursula von der Leyen

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The European Commission proposed a significant overhaul in its migration policy, with the key intention to remedy the continent’s oft-broken migration and asylum rules. It also seeks to tackle one of the major sources of discontent among citizens of the Union, who in a Eurobaromter survey had last year placed migration as a more pressing problem than issues such as climate change or the economy.

The new proposal set out improved and faster procedures throughout the asylum and migration system and it sets in balance the principles of fair sharing of responsibility and solidarity between countries. In a statement, the EU executive said that this is crucial for rebuilding trust between Member States and confidence in the capacity of the European Union to manage migration. 

At the same time, The EU will seek to promote tailor-made and mutually beneficial partnerships with third countriesThese will help address shared challenges such as migrant smuggling, will help develop legal pathways and will tackle the effective implementation of readmission agreements and arrangements.

The proposal plans to open more legal routes for migrants but at the same time indicates that those who fail to win asylum will be sent back. However people saved at sea would be relocated among Member States, with NGOs not criminalised for rescues.

While the new system is based on cooperation and flexible forms of support starting off on a voluntary basis, more stringent contributions will be required at times of pressure on individual Member States, based on a safety net. The proposals include a legal obligation on each state to host some refugees – something eastern nations including Poland and Hungary are strongly opposing – as well as helping in other ways under “mandatory solidarity”. 

Each country will receive 10,000 euros per adult taken in, according to the proposals.

Seeking to put the numbers into context, according to the Commission, the EU now receives up to 1.5 million net new foreigners coming legally to live and work per year, compared to only 140,000 asylum seekers arriving irregularly.