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EU Parliament introduces reforms to enhance repatriation of irregular migrants 

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The European Parliament has sanctioned a significant overhaul to tighten the EU’s migration and asylum regulations, geared towards enhancing the repatriation of irregular migrants to their home countries.

The EU Asylum and Migration Pact, under development since 2015 after years of negotiations, is set to be enforced within two years.

Nairametrics learnt that the pact will mandate EU member states to jointly shoulder the responsibility of asylum seekers.

Notably, the previous year witnessed approximately 380,000 individuals illicitly crossing the EU’s borders, marking the highest figure since 2016.

Endorsed by political faction

The pact was endorsed by the two primary political factions—the centre-right European People’s Party Group (EPP Group) and the centre-left Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) and is being championed amidst a significant challenge from the right in the upcoming parliamentary elections in June.

The German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, hailed it as a “historic, indispensable step,” while European Parliament President, Roberta Metsola, praised its achievement of “balancing solidarity and responsibility,” acknowledging that while it won’t resolve all issues immediately, it represents significant progress.

What Asylum and Migration Pact indicates

The EU said the pact combined “mandatory solidarity” between member states with flexibility.

Under the proposed regulations, the 27 EU countries will be mandated to either accept thousands of migrants from “frontline” nations such as Italy, Greece, and Spain, or provide additional funding or resources as an alternative.

Additionally, asylum applications deemed to have “low chances of acceptance” are to be swiftly processed, potentially without admitting them into the EU territory.

The pact also aims to address asylum requests within a maximum of 12 weeks, with rejected asylum seekers required to be forcibly returned to their home countries within the same timeframe.

Pre-entry screening procedures for migrants will include identification, with health and security checks intensified within seven days. Biometric data will be collected for migrants aged six and above, and there will be provisions to manage sudden increases in arrivals.

Hungary vows to reject irregular migrants

Despite widespread support, Hungary has vowed to reject any irregular migrants, irrespective of the migration pact, and Polish Prime Minister, Donald Tusk, has denounced the mechanism of accepting asylum seekers or contributing to an EU fund for frontline states as unacceptable.

Although many parliamentarians welcomed the outcome, several also acknowledged that the agreement is not without flaws.

 

 


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