A New Pact on Migration and Asylum

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advies EESC: A New Pact on Migration and Asylum

Key points

The EESC:

  • stresses that the EU needs to strike the right balance between effective and realistic migration management that is humane and sustainable, while ensuring security and control of its external borders. It must send a clear message to Europeans that migration can be better managed collectively;
  • notes that the proposals accompanying the PMA are important but insufficient for the development of the common European framework for migration management, which would be both effective and in line with the EU's values and objectives;
  • regrets that the PMA devotes most of its proposals to the management of external borders and return, while failing to pay due attention to regular channels for immigration, safe pathways for asylum or the inclusion and integration of non-EU nationals in the EU;
  • regrets that the PMA makes no mention of the United Nations' Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration as a multilateral precursor to a proposal for international migration management;
  • notes that the PMA correctly highlights the inconsistencies between Member States' asylum and return systems, and emphasises the need to boost solidarity. However, it is not clear if the principle of voluntary and selective solidarity will help solve major coordination challenges. No mention is made of the incentives for the Member States to participate in this mechanism, especially following the refusal by some of them to participate in the previous relocation programme;
  • welcomes rescue initiatives at sea that genuinely seek to save lives. Sustained efforts are necessary to prevent the criminalisation of humanitarian actors who perform much-needed search and rescue operations;
  • welcomes the development of safe and legal pathways to access European territory, especially through resettlement and community-sponsored programmes but considers that these channels only meet the needs of individuals with a specific profile and do not provide comprehensive, effective or secure responses to the need for regular channels of immigration into the EU;
  • looks forward to the development of the Action Plan on Integration and Inclusion for 2021-2027. The EESC is disappointed that this issue, which is crucial to coexistence in our societies, warrants so little attention in the PMA.

In this opinion, the EESC stresses that the EU needs to strike the right balance between effective and realistic migration management that is humane and sustainable, while ensuring security and control of its external borders. It must send a clear message that migration can be better managed collectively. It notes that the proposals accompanying the PMA are important but insufficient for the development of the common European framework for migration management, which would be both effective and in line with the EU's values and objectives.