Provisional deal on new EU rules to respond to migratory crises 

Press Releases 
  • A crisis entails mass arrivals of migrants or asylum-seekers that block a national asylum system 
  • Rules to also cover the instrumentalisation of migrants by third-countries or hostile non-state actors to destabilise the EU 
  • Possible derogation of the standard asylum procedures 

The EU response in the case of a migration and asylum crisis should be based on reinforced solidarity and support to the member states in need.

The new rules informally agreed by Parliament and Council negotiators will apply in exceptional situations of the mass arrival of third-country nationals or stateless persons by land, air or sea, including persons disembarked following search and rescue operations. To be considered a crisis, the situation must render the asylum, reception, child protection services, or the return system of a given member state non-functional, and may also have serious consequences for the functioning of the common EU asylum system.

The rules would also apply to situations when a third country or hostile non-state actor encourages or facilitates the movement of third country nationals and stateless persons to the EU’s external borders or to a member state for the purposes of destabilising the country. Humanitarian aid operations should not be considered as a case of instrumentalisation when there is no aim to destabilise the EU or a member state.

Decision-making and solidarity measures

When faced with a crisis, the concerned member state will have to make a reasoned request to the Commission, that will assess the situation within two weeks and adopt a decision on the presence or otherwise of a crisis situation. It will also make a proposal to the Council on solidarity measures and derogations, together with a recommendation establishing the categories of persons who should be entitled to prima facie protection.

The new rules foresee a predictable and permanent system of solidarity in which all member states must contribute to support the member state in crisis. Among the possible solidarity measures to address a specific crisis, a member state can propose to the Commission to opt for the relocation of asylum applicants and targeted financial contributions or alternative measures.

Certain categories of people –such as applicants coming from a specific country of origin - may be identified as entitled to prima facie protection, i.e. authorities would have to prioritise the examination of their application because they are likely to be well-founded and to ensure the swift conclusion of their application.


In crisis situations, the registration of asylum applications could take up to 10 days, with the border procedure extended for both asylum and return border procedures by an additional six weeks each. In situations of mass influx, the threshold for the border procedure will apply to applicants with up to 50% recognition rate, whereas in instrumentalisation situations, the border procedure would be applied to all arrivals. In instrumentalisation situations, after an individual assessment, vulnerable persons and families with children under 12 years could be excluded from the border procedure.


Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D, ES), rapporteur and chair of the Civil Liberties committee, said: "The Crisis Regulation will allow the EU to finally move away from ad hoc solutions to establishing a predictable and reliable system in crisis situations, where member states must make solidarity contributions to support a member state experiencing a crisis. Relocations, financial contributions and alternative solidarity measures would be decided among member states following a proposal by the Commission. In addition, the member state in a crisis situation could request relocation as the main or only solidarity measure. The New Pact on Migration and Asylum is a step beyond the unsatisfactory and unsustainable situation we have now. With its entry into force, we will finally have a European response to migration and its challenges, especially in crisis situations and also at the local or regional level.”

Next steps

The provisionally agreed text will now have to be approved by the Civil Liberties committee and the EP plenary, as well as the Council, before it can be published in the Official Journal and enter into force.

The new crisis and force majeure regulation is part of the wider revamp of the EU’s common asylum and migration rules, on which negotiators from Parliament and Council reached a comprehensive deal today. You can find more information here.