Migration Regulations


Within Europe:


European Union Migration and Asylum Pact of 2024 (Euronews)

On April 10, 2024, the EU's European parliament approved a joint proposal of its negotiators and the "European Council" (individual EU heads of states) to establish a "New Pact on Migration and Asylum." It is expected to become effective in 2026 following ratification by EU member states. The measure passed by a narrow majority of about 53%, against opposition from left-leaning parties, Greens, some human rights groups and NGOs, and far-right parties. It is not apparent how administration and enforcement might be coordinated across member states. The pact's five key provisions are:


1. "Pre-entry" screening for health and security, and to collect "profile" data, including finger prints (for six years and up) and facial images.

2. An updated "Eurodac" database for storing such biometric information "will shift" to tracking applicants (instead of applications) in order to help "prevent the same person from filing multiple claims."

3. The amended "Asylum Procedures Regulation" allows for a new "fast-tracked border procedure" (in addition to the traditional, lengthier, procedure). The plan is that fast-track applicants will be held at border facilities until their cases are decided, e.g. within 12 weeks.

4. Under "Asylum amd Migration Management Regulation" ("mandatory solidarity"): Member states can choose between (a) accepting a certain quote of asylum-seekers,

(b) paying €20 thous. for each "claimant they refuse," or (c) financing "operational support."

5. A "Crisis Regulation" clause allows for "exceptional rules...triggered" by a sudden "massive arrival of refugees, as was the case during the 2015-16 crisis" or by "force majeure" (such as during the Covid pandemic).

According to The Economist (30 Mar), the new "pact" will also "externalise the EU's migrant problem" by "putting pressure on foreign governments to ensure fewer of their people pitch up illegally in Europe," for instance by "imposing conditions on aid, trade and visa" as part of a "broader partnership between Europe and poorer countries..Plenty of schools and irrigation systems will still get built, in other words, as long as you do what we ask first."

Washington Post (10 Apr) adds: "The main issue, once the regulations are completely endorsed, is whether member countries will ever fully impliment them, and whether the UE's executive branch, the European Commission, will enforce the rules when it has chosen not to do so to avoid exacerbating the political crisis in recent years."

(See also Guardian (pact reached after "8 year deadlock"), and LeMonde, also both 10 Apr.)


Dublin Regulation (1997, revised 2003, 2013): “Migrants seeking to apply for asylum within the European Union must do so in the country through which they first enter the bloc. The country in which the asylum seeker first applies for asylum is responsible for either accepting or rejecting asylum, and the seeker may not restart the process in another jurisdiction.”  (Wikipedia, New York Times, 20 September, 2015)



Schengen Agreement (1995): “Passport-free movement across most of the EU.” Applies to all EU states except Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania and the UK. Non-EU states Norway and Switzerland are also part of the Schengen zone.  (Wikipedia, BBC, 14 September, 2015)



"Frontex, the EU’s border force, swells in size"

(Economist, March 2021)



                   Most recently updated 15 April, 2024