Posted on December 22, 2023

EU Strikes ‘Historic’ Migration Deal

Nicolas Camut and Eddy Wax, Politico, December 20, 2023

The European Union on Wednesday broke years of political deadlock by agreeing on a deal that will significantly change how the bloc limits migrant entry, moves migrants around EU countries and effectively makes it easier to deport unsuccessful asylum seeker applicants.

European Parliament President Roberta Metsola hailed the deal as historic. Negotiators worked through the night to agree on the overhaul of the EU’s asylum procedures, signalling a shift to the right after years of failed attempts to agree on regulations appeasing both border countries that want help handling asylum seekers and inland countries that argue too many migrants are arriving in one EU country, and then moving on to others.

Under the agreement, which still needs to be formally ratified, front-line countries in Southern Europe will institute a stricter asylum procedure at their non-EU borders and will be more empowered to deport rejected asylum seekers. Countries further inland will be given a choice of whether to accept a certain number of migrants or pay into a joint EU fund.

“Migration is a European challenge that requires European solutions,” European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said, further signalling a unified EU-backing of stricter measures to combat the rising popularity of anti-immigrant far-right platforms across Europe.


Full details of the political deal have not been released.


EU border agency Frontex said this month there were more undocumented arrivals into the bloc so far this year than in any year since 2015 {snip}


More than 50 nonprofit organizations warned in an open letter that the migration pact would allow countries to arbitrarily detain children, remove migrants to what the deal called “safe third countries,” and increase “racial profiling.”