Regulation on asylum and migration management

In “Promoting our European Way of Life”

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Since the peak of the 2015 record migration flows to the EU, challenges to the migration management have changed. Issues, which should be dealt with by the EU as a whole, range from ensuring a balance of efforts in dealing with asylum applications to ensuring a quick identification of those in need of international protection or effective return of those who are not in need of protection. In addition, arrivals of migrants and their unauthorised movements put a heavy burden on Member States' asylum systems. The current migration system is insufficient in addressing these realities. In particular, there is currently no effective solidarity mechanism in place and no efficient rules on responsibility.

The Regulation on Asylum and Migration Management aims at replacing the current Dublin Regulation and relaunches the reform of the Common European Asylum System. The main objectives of the proposal as stated in the regulation are:

  • to establish a common framework based on the principles of integrated policy-making and of solidarity and fair sharing of responsibility;
  • ensure sharing of responsibility through a new solidarity mechanism;
  • enhance the system's capacity to determine efficiently and effectively a single Member State responsible for examining an application for international protection;
  • discourage abuses and prevent unauthorised movements of the applicants within the EU, in particular by including clear obligations for applicants to apply in the Member State of first entry or legal stay and remain in the Member State determined as responsible.

In the European Parliament, the proposal has been assigned to the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee (LIBE). The rapporteur Tomas Tobé presented his draft report to the LIBE Committee on 11 October 2021. The report adopted by the LIBE committee on 28 March 2023 preserves some of the key elements contained in the Commission proposal, including the hierarchy of criteria for determining the Member State responsible for examining an application for international protection. . The Dublin rules are slightly changed, however, as the first entry criterion would not apply to people disembarked after rescue operations. An important element is the inclusion of the new criterion of a 'meaningful link' with another Member State as a ground for allocation of responsibility. The Parliament has also removed the separate solidarity mechanism for disembarkation after SAR. Instead, one solidarity mechanism applies to all situations of migratory pressure, which now also covers migratory pressure resulting from to sea arrivals following disembarkations. It also removes return sponsorship as a form of solidarity. 

On 20 April 2023, the negotiating mandate for the Asylum and Migration Management Regulation was backed by the plenary with 413 votes in favour 142 against and 20 abstentions.

On 22 June 2022, the Council adopted the main elements of the first stage of the European policy reform on asylum and migration. This follows in the wake of the Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting on 10 June, during which broad political support was shown for the content of this first step.

In June 2022, the European Parliament and the rotating Presidencies of the Council also signed a joint roadmap, declaring their plan to finish negotiating all the asylum and migration proposals currently on the table by February 2024, with the aim of having them enter into force by April 2024 at the latest.

As an outcome of the Extraordinary Justice and Home Affairs Council of 25 November 2022, ministers confirmed their commitment to increase efforts to implement the solidarity mechanism agreed by a number of Member States in June.

On 8 June 2023, the Council reached an agreement on the regulation. The agreement introduces a solidarity mechanism with a target relocation of 30 000 asylum-seekers per year at EU level. Each country would be responsible for a set number of people, but would not necessarily have to take them in. Countries unwilling to receive irregular migrants and refugees arriving in the EU would be able to contribute financially (€20 000 per applicant) or through capacity-building (staff, equipment). A separate solidarity mechanism for situations of search and rescue has been rejected. The principle of responsibility of the state of first entry remains the norm. The period of responsibility of the country of arrival for an applicant is extended. It will be 2 years for people who enter at the external border, but reduced to 15 months after a rejection in the border procedure, and reduced to 12 months for those rescued at sea. The proposals to improve the family ties criteria in the rules on responsibility were rejected.

On 20 December 2023, the Parliament and the Council reached a provisional agreement on the AMMR. On 8 February 2024, Coreper approved the provisional agreement. Under the agreement, countries would not necessarily have to relocate asylum seekers, but would be able to contribute financially (€20 000 per applicant) or through capacity-building (staff, equipment). There will be specific solidarity measures for people rescued at sea, for whom a certain quota of all these solidarity measures will be earmarked. The new regulation maintains the key criterion of the first country of entry meaning member state of first entry will continue to be responsible to register and process asylum applications. The regulation also introduces a new criterion of a diploma obtained after one year’s study in a Member State, which may then become responsible for examining the application for asylum.

The Parliament adopted the proposal on 10 April 2024. Once the regulation is formally approved by the Council, the act will enter into force after their publication in the Official Journal.

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Further reading:

Author: Anja Radjenovic, Members' Research Service, legislative-train@europarl.europa.eu

Visit the European Parliament homepage on Migration.

As of 20/04/2024.