EU Migration Proposals
The European Union is proposing reform of EU migration across EU countries. The proposals are timely as the recent fires at the Moira camp in Greece have once again shown just how vulnerable migrants are and have also exposed the divisions between different countries in their approach towards EU migration. In this blog we look at the EU migration proposals.
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What are the EU migration proposals?
There is a call for a compulsory system across the EU to manage migration and to coordinate the EU countries response to the movement of people to the EU bloc and to help manage the financial and social consequences of migration.
The EU migration proposals are backed by Germany but all 27 EU countries would need to agree to participate in the new migration scheme. EU member countries would need to either agree to take in Asylum seekers or to be responsible for sending back those claiming but refused Asylum.
Ursula von der Leyen, European Commission head, has hailed the proposals as the "European solution... to restore citizens' confidence". Immigration solicitors speculate that it will take a lot to restore EU citizen’s confidence in EU migration policy after the widely publicised scenes at the Moria camp in Greece that has provided a form of refuge for more than 12,500 migrants and refugees.
The new migration proposals are designed to replace the Dublin rule. That rule requires Asylum claims to be handled in the EU country where the refugee first enters the system.
The new pact, which is strongly endorsed by German chancellor Angela Merkel, proposes a wide ranging solutions to ensure all 27 EU countries take a fair share of the responsibility for migrants. The proposals include:
- A quicker Asylum border process with the plan being to make decisions on Asylum claims within twelve weeks of arrival in the EU
- Fast returns for failed Asylum applicants
- Compulsory pre-entry security checks and identity and health screening
- Each of the EU's 27 countries would have flexible options on how to support the new EU migration plan so some countries could take in Asylum seekers whilst others could sponsor the return of failed claimants on behalf of other EU countries to return claimants to their countries of origin or provide other forms of approved support
- EU countries that agreed to take in refugees or Asylum seekers rescued in the Mediterranean Sea would receive the sterling equivalent of about £9,192 for each adult. This money would be funded from the EU budget
- Each EU state would be legally required to contribute towards the costs of EU migration with the share being calculated based half on the GDP of the member state and half on the country’s population size.
Will the migration plan work?
The plans are proposals that are bound to generate heated debate between EU member states. EU migration has of course been a red hot political topic since over a million migrants and refugees arrived in 2015, primarily through Italy and Greece. The 2016 fix, that Turkey would hold back migrants to the EU in return for EU money, isn’t seen as a long term solution. How then do you resolve the problem of Greece and Italy bearing the lion’s share of the burden of EU migration whist other states, such as Poland and Hungary, have been wary of getting involved.
The positive is that the numbers of migrants arriving in the EU are said to be about 55,000 in the first nine months of 2020. Whilst that is a vast difference to the million plus who arrived in 2015, there are legacy camps like the Moria migrant camp. Immigration solicitors are sceptical about the migration plans, in part because of the difficulty of getting so many EU member states to reach an agreement and in part because the EU took the decision to reduce spending on migration and border control by twenty seven per cent when they negotiated the EU budget in July 2020.
One thing is certain, Brexit or not, the UK also faces its own challenges with people arriving on its shores on make-shift boats having precariously crossed the English Channel. The UK government will no doubt want to see the EU migration proposals work to stem the flow of arrivals to the UK.
UK Immigration solicitors
OTS Solicitors specialise in immigration law and are recommended in the two leading law directories, The Legal 500 and Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession. If you require expert immigration law advice that you can trust, call OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us here. Appointments are available via video conferencing, Skype or by telephone appointment.