Go to main content

Statement on EU Pact on Asylum and Migration: A wasted opportunity for a more balanced and humane approach.

The European Parliament and EU Member States have reached agreement this morning on the main files of the EU Pact on Asylum and Migration after three years of intense negotiations. While details still need to be scrutinized, it is clear that the new legislation will make it even harder for people to reach safety and seek protection in the EU.

Posted on 20 Dec 2023

The Pact is a testimony to the predominant securitized approach to refugees – the perception of people fleeing violence and persecution as a threat to the EU. This narrative has resulted in the concept of “instrumentalization of migration” being introduced in the Crisis Regulation, which risks legitimizing derogations from rights and undermining the fundamental right to seek asylum.   

In general, the Pact aims at restricting asylum seekers’ access to the EU by keeping people at the external borders, where they must undergo accelerated procedures without the necessary safeguards as well as possible detention.   We know what that entails from the experiences in the Aegean hotspots (Greek Islands): Immense suffering and uncertainty, lack of adequate safeguards in the procedures, increased use of detention and risk of refoulement.   

Finally, the key challenge over the past years of lack of responsibility-sharing within the EU remains largely unresolved – addressed by a watered down “flexible solidarity” that does not promote relocation of people seeking protection.  

Considering the positive experiences of the EU’s response to displaced people from Ukraine, the Pact is a wasted opportunity for a more balanced and humane approach to refugee protection. 

It is a sad day for refugees, and if this is what European values comes down to, it is a sad day for all of us.  

28 Dec 2023
DRC's Intervention Saves Saeed's Life Following a Landmine E…
18 Dec 2023
Stories from the field – “We have accomplished something not…
Read more about Europe Denmark Asylum EU Migration