European Parliament passes asylum and migration reforms | European Union News


Non-governmental organisations (NGO) have criticised the package for undermining human rights.

The European Parliament has approved a landmark overhaul of the European Union’s asylum and migration rules.

The parliament’s main political groups overcame opposition from far-right and far-left parties to pass the new migration and asylum pact – a sweeping reform nearly a decade in the making.

“History made” parliament president Roberta Metsola posted on X on Wednesday following the passage of all 10 parts of the migration and asylum pact.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called the new rules a “historic, indispensable step” for the EU.

EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson said the bloc “will be able to better protect our external borders, the vulnerable and refugees, swiftly return those not eligible to stay” and introduce “mandatory solidarity” between member states.

Outside the Brussels parliament building, dozens of demonstrators protested against the vote, echoing criticism from more than 160 migrant charities and non-governmental organisations.

In a sign of the fierce opposition, the start of voting was interrupted by protesters in the public gallery yelling, “This pact kills – vote no!” until the chamber was brought to order.

The legislation requires all EU member states to take some form of responsibility for managing asylum applications.

If an EU country does not want to accept people applying for asylum, then that member state must give alternative assistance like financial contributions to a support fund.

Also, EU member states experiencing significant spikes in applications for asylum may call for the applicants to be distributed to other EU countries.

The most controversial part of the package involves establishing border facilities in the EU to host asylum seekers and screen and quickly send back applicants found not to be ineligible.

Non-governmental organisations (NGO) have criticised the package for undermining human rights and fear the border facilities will lay the ground for systematic detention.

Damien Careme, a lawmaker from the left-wing Greens group, said the legislation was “a pact with the devil”.

Far-right lawmakers complained the overhaul did not go far enough to block access to irregular migrants.


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