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Press release |

Deal on migration unworkable & solidifies practices that undermine human rights

Migration and asylum

Today (Wednesday, 20 December), a series of deals were reached between negotiators from the European Parliament and Council on the New Pact on Migration and Asylum. The negotiators reached agreement on the Asylum and Migration Management Regulation, Asylum Procedures Regulation, Crisis and Force Majeure Regulation, the Eurodac Regulation and the Screening Regulation. The Greens/EFA Group have long fought for a fair asylum and migration system that upholds human rights and is based on the principle of solidarity between Member States.

Philippe Lamberts MEP, President of the Greens/EFA Group, comments:

“Today’s agreements entrench outdated ideas on how to deal with migration and fail to take into account the reality at the EU’s borders both on the ground and in the sea. This will undermine the right to asylum, international law and human rights.

“Instead of seeking humane and practical solutions to manage migration in an orderly and safe way, EU Member States have been pursuing dangerous policies that are turning the Mediterranean into a graveyard. Unfortunately the outcome of these negotiations will only solidify this approach. 

“What we needed with this Pact was a full overhaul of the rules and mandatory relocation. Despite a new binding solidarity mechanism in EU law, its shortcomings are stark - solidarity now means border surveillance within the EU, relocation is not prioritised and there are no specific solidarity procedures for search and rescue disembarkation. 

“The detention of migrants, children and families at the borders is totally unacceptable. Unfortunately, the systematic and prolonged detention of people in unsanitary and unsafe conditions at the EU’s borders will continue. The Greens/EFA Group will never accept the lowering of standards and legal safeguards in asylum procedures.”

Terry Reintke MEP, President of the Greens/EFA Group, comments:

“Managing migration is a challenge that will not be solved with easy fixes or populist slogans. That is why we must look seriously at the options and ensure that we build a European migration and asylum system that is fit for purpose and respects human rights. The proposed system will ultimately not be workable, the border procedures and detention will entail very high human costs and further administrative burdens for national authorities.  

“We fought hard in the negotiations with the Council to limit the damage but on many occasions were unable to prevent the weakening of standards and safeguards for asylum seekers and refugees. The negative and unwanted further effects of these measures will lead to the further criminalisation of those providing humanitarian assistance to people in need. 

“This Pact will not end the loss of lives at sea. We urgently need, and the Greens/EFA Group will continue to fight for, an EU-led search and rescue mission. This must be combined with the end of the criminalisation of humanitarian assistance, as well as safe and legal pathways for migration. We will continue to work towards a fair and humane asylum system that respects human rights and saves lives.”

More:

A breakdown of the main files is available on our website here

Greens/EFA MEPs working on these files are:

  • Damien Carême MEP, Asylum and Migration Management Regulation, Reception Conditions Directive 
  • Erik Marquardt MEP, Asylum Procedures Regulation
  • Damian Boeselager MEP, Crisis and Force Majeure Regulation
  • Saskia Bricmont MEP, Eurodac Regulation 
  • Tineke Strik MEP, Screening Regulation, Resettlement Regulation 
  • Alice Kuhnke MEP, Qualification Regulation 

Today’s agreements follow previous provisional agreements found on three files in December last year (Qualification Regulation, Reception Conditions Directive and Resettlement & Humanitarian Admission Framework Regulation) and conclude the negotiations on the latest round of reforms of the Common European Asylum System.

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Responsible MEPs

Philippe Lamberts
Philippe Lamberts
Co-President
Terry Reintke
Terry Reintke
Co-President

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