The stars of the European flag reflected in a window through which the EU Council building can be seen in Brussels | Photo: ARCHIVE/ANSA/CHRISTOPHE KARABA
The stars of the European flag reflected in a window through which the EU Council building can be seen in Brussels | Photo: ARCHIVE/ANSA/CHRISTOPHE KARABA

The EU's new Migration and Asylum Pact will once again be the focus of an internal affairs council meeting, slated for June 8. The meeting will deal with several issues.

EU talks on its new Migration and Asylum Pact have intensified ahead of an internal affairs council meeting scheduled for June 8.

An idea has been raised among the 27 member states to set up quotas -- calculated on the basis of figures that have been agreed upon -- for member states in terms of migrant hosting as well as the applying of "border procedures" for identification.

This mechanism would take into account inflows and outflows and "an annual ceiling" would also be established. This would reassure nations that experience the highest level of arrivals, including Italy.

Contents of draft

These quotas and thresholds -- the parameters of which are still under debate -- would then lead to "mandatory solidarity" with transfers to other states.

After Poland said that it would not be willing to take part in "forced relocations of migrants", both the rotating EU president's office and the European Commission last week said such an idea was not the current agenda.

Warsaw stressed that it would defend its sovereignty, which some see as a statement for a domestic audience in view of upcoming elections.

In reality, a mediation draft proposed by the presidency -- which ANSA has seen -- indicates that it is necessary to "further refine the equilibrium between solidarity and responsibility" as well as "take into account the particular geographic position of border member states".

The statement is a clear overture to the Med5 countries -- Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Malta, and Spain -- that have long urged greater attention to the issue of migrant arrivals.

The text excludes any "mandatory nature of the relocations" and provides for other measures of solidarity such as "financial contributions" and other actions that are left undefined for the moment.

The aim is to make the "principle of solidarity" mandatory" but not one measure over another. This, however, could also lead to complications.

Time of the essence, legislature ends next year

Poland's permanent representative to the EU, Andrzej Sadoś, reportedly pointed out that the country has thus far welcomed a million Ukrainian refugees and has received €200 million from the EU to assist them -- about €200 per refugee.

The European Commission has instead proposed charging countries not willing to accept irregular migrants as part of the solidarity mechanism €22,000 per migrant.

Warsaw called the difference between the two amounts "crass disproportion" that it sees as intending to be punitive in nature.

Time is seen as of the essence and the aim is currently to conclude the negotiations mandate of the Council and to begin talks with the Commission and Parliament by July -- or at least on the part concerning asylum and migration management.

Significantly, the pact is a complex mosaic with directives, recommendations and regulations.The aim is for the end of the legislature in 2024.However, there are concerns that this will not be met unless things speed up soon.

 

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