EU reaches migration deal

Lazy eyes listen


Sweden announced on Thursday that the European Union’s migration ministers had struck an agreement on new asylum and migration laws. The idea will not be submitted to the European Parliament for approval before the election next year.

The ministers meeting in Luxembourg reached an agreement on “a general approach on the Asylum and Migration Management Regulation and the Asylum Procedure Regulation,” according to the Swedish government, which chairs the EU council until the end of June.

“It’s a big day for us,” Sweden’s migration minister Maria Malmer Stenergard remarked, drawing applause from her colleagues.

“We will have simpler, clearer, and shorter procedures,” she explained.

The Swedish idea, nicknamed “mandatory solidarity,” involves each EU country committing to accept a certain number of asylum seekers each year, or to pay for their repatriation to their home countries if their asylum petitions are denied. According to EuroNews, the relocation quota for the entire bloc has been set at 35,000, with a financial commitment of €20,000 per application.

The EU has been attempting to cope with migration using the ad hoc crisis guidelines set in 2015, when Turkey allowed Syrian refugees to flee to the West. Countries on the EU’s marine and land borders, such as Spain, Italy, Greece, and Bulgaria, have been disproportionately affected by migratory waves.

According to Politico EU, Poland and Hungary have resisted any quotas for absorbing migrants, while Czechia and Slovakia have expressed concerns over the amount of payments. Warsaw has also reportedly protested to having to pay anything while housing over a million Ukrainian refugees.

Italy and Germany were discussing until late Thursday on which countries qualified as “safe” for the return of rejected asylum seekers, with Rome preferring a broader definition and Berlin preferring a narrower one.

Last year, the EU received over 962,000 asylum applications, the largest amount since 2016. Over 80,000 migrants entered the EU outside normal ports of entry in the first four months of 2023, a 30% increase from 2022.