European flags fly in front of the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium | Photo: EPA/Stephanie Lecocq
European flags fly in front of the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium | Photo: EPA/Stephanie Lecocq

The Council of Europe and the European Parliament have signed a political agreement outlining a 'roadmap' to pass sweeping reforms to the EU asylum and migration system. Their goal is to finish all negotiations by February 2024.

Several representatives of the EU Parliament and the permanent representatives from the five countries presiding over the Council of the European Union from 2022 until Mid-2024 signed a 'joint roadmap' to reform the EU asylum and migration rules within this EU legislature on Wednesday.

They want to finish all negotiations by February 2024, to make sure a vote can happen before the next parlimentary election.

They signed a document saying that "the CEAS and the New European Pact on migration and asylum represents a top priority in their work and confirm their commitment to make all efforts towards the adoption of the legislative proposals before the end of the 2019-2024 legislative period." CEAS stands for Common European Asylum System (CEAS), a joint framework of asylum procedure rules.

They agreed that talks between legislators should begin by the end of the current year at the latest.

New pact on migration and asylum

The EU Commission stated that it would continue to give its full support to the European Parliament and the Czech presidency of the Council of Europe, as well as future ones, for the development of the talks. In September 2020, the Commission had presented its New Pact on Migration and Asylum, aimed at reducing the burden of migration for border countries and having a more unified migration and asylum policy within the EU.

During the last legislative period, the EU commission had failed to reach an agreement for asylum and migration reform that could find sufficient support.

Recently, 18 EU member states as well as three other European countries -- which are not part of the EU but belong to the Schengen Area -- agreed to participate in a 'temporary solidarity mechanism'. Countries less affected by migration agreed to support border countries with higher migrant and refugee arrival numbers -- in particularly those on the Mediterranean Sea -- by taking in refugees and/or through financial or border management personnel contributions.


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