The European Parliament wants Mandatory Resettlement of Migrants in the EU

EU | April 21, 2023, Friday // 09:59|  views

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MEPs on Thursday backed a demand that member states must accept some of the refugees and migrants coming to the bloc in large influxes - part of a hotly contested reform ahead of European elections in 2024, Reuters reported.

The European Parliament adopted its position on the forthcoming reform of the bloc's migration and asylum rules before agreeing its final form with the 27 member states long divided over so-called mandatory relocation.

Some countries, including Poland and Hungary, are refusing to accept the new arrivals, while others, including Italy and France - where people from the Middle East and Africa arrive on smugglers' boats across the Mediterranean - say they cannot cope on their own.

Warsaw, Budapest and their allies say they can help by providing money, staff or equipment rather than being legally required to host people. Mediterranean countries of arrival and wealthy destinations such as Germany feel that this is not enough. The bloc's migration and asylum system collapsed in 2015 when more than one million people - mostly fleeing the war in Syria - reached Europe's southern shores. This took the EU by surprise and sparked a wave of anti-immigrant sentiment across the bloc. Since then, the EU has tightened external borders and asylum laws to keep people out, and the sensitive issue of migration has fallen from the top of the bloc's political agenda as the COVID-19 pandemic has curbed global mobility.

But arrivals across the Mediterranean increased last year, with the bloc's border agency Frontex reporting around 330,000 unauthorized arrivals.

What did the MEPs accept?

MEPs firstly supported the start of negotiations with member states on a new regulation for the screening of third-country nationals.

These rules will apply at EU borders to people who do not normally qualify for entry into a Member State. These include identification, fingerprinting, security checks and preliminary health and vulnerability assessment.

In their amendments, MEPs added an independent fundamental rights monitoring mechanism, which would also check border surveillance to ensure that possible push-backs are reported and investigated.

The second and central bill sets out how the EU and its member states will work together to manage asylum and migration.

It establishes improved criteria for determining the responsibility of parties in processing asylum applications (the so-called "Dublin" criteria) and fair sharing of responsibility.

It includes a binding solidarity mechanism to assist countries experiencing migratory pressure, including following search and rescue operations at sea. In the event of a sudden mass arrival of third-country nationals, leading to a crisis situation in a certain member state, according to the assessment of the European Commission, mandatory relocation and derogation of screening and asylum procedures will take place. MEPs also approved a mandate for negotiations on proposed changes to the long-term residents directive.

These include speeding up the issuance of long-term residence permits after 3 years of legal residence and the possibility of integrating people with temporary protection status.

Long-term EU residents will be able to move to another member state without additional work restrictions, and their children will automatically receive the same status.

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Tags: refugees, migrants, EU, MEPs


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