EU pact on migration and asylum: State of play

Briefing 13-02-2024

In 2016, with unprecedented numbers of irregular migrants and asylum-seekers arriving in the EU, the European Commission proposed a package of reforms to the common European asylum system (CEAS). In June 2018, a broad provisional agreement was reached between the European Parliament and the presidency of the Council of the EU on several of the reform proposals. However, the agreement did not get the necessary support from the Member States. The reform stalled owing to persistent disagreements among the Member States on how to apply the principle of solidarity in practice and share their responsibilities in the area of asylum in a fair manner. In September 2020, the Commission sought to revive the reform by putting forward a new pact on migration and asylum, offering a comprehensive approach aimed at strengthening and integrating key EU policies on migration, asylum and border management. The pact builds on and amends the previous reform proposals. In line with the gradual approach proposed by the French Presidency of the Council in June 2022, the Member States reached agreement on several aspects of the reform relating to the screening and registration of migrants arriving at the EU's external borders. Following an agreement in the Council in June 2023 on two key proposals, the negotiations between the Parliament and the Council resumed, leading to a political agreement on the major reform files in December 2023. On 8 February 2024, the Permanent Representatives to the European Union of the governments of the Member States (Coreper) approved the provisional agreement. The files now have to be formally adopted by the Parliament and the Council. It is expected that the reform will be finalised before the 2024 European elections, as previously agreed by the co-legislators. This is a further update of a briefing originally published in December 2022.