Tracking the Pact: Unaccountable new decision-making bodies and "adaptable responsibility"


The latest Council draft of the Asylum and Migration Management Regulation (AMMR) includes a substantial number of changes, including the introduction of the concept of "adaptable responsibility" and an array of new bodies dominated by the member states intended to govern the implementation of EU migration policy.

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The AMMR was introduced as part of the September 2020 New Pact on Migration and Asylum, and aims to establish "a common framework for the management of asylum and migration in the Union" and introduce "mechanisms for solidarity," whilst repealing the Dublin Regulation.

The latest draft (pdf), circulated by the Swedish Presidency of the Council but which "includes modifications based on the concept discussed during the Czech Presidency," includes a proposal for a "Permanent EU Migration Support Toolbox".

This introduces the concept of "adaptable responsibility based on derogations foreseen in the Union acquis providing Member States with the necessary tools to react to specific migratory challenges," as foreseen in the proposed Crisis and Force Majeure Regulation and the Instrumentalisation Regulation.

In December the Council failed to reach agreement on the Instrumentalisation Regulation - which, as ECRE notes, is a law based on the concept that the member states should be able to avoid the law, by derogating from it - but the AMMR proposal would suggest there is still enthusiasm to get it on the books.

The latest AMMR draft also includes new text on "the annual migration management cycle". As part of this cycle, the Council is seeking to set up two new bodies: "The High-Level EU Migration Forum and Technical-Level EU Migration Forum".

The High-Level Forum would consist of member states and potentially also third countries. It would take decisions on solidarity measures requested or proposed by the member states, as well as "other migratory response measures in the areas of responsibility, preparedness and contingency, as well as on the external dimension of migration."

The "solidarity measures" would be based on a new "Solidarity Pool", which continues with a previous theme of externalising borders, rather than relocating refugees:

"3. The Solidarity Pool shall consist of the following types of solidarity measures, which shall be considered of equal value:

(a) relocation of applicants for international protection, of beneficiaries of international protection, or of illegally staying third-country nationals or stateless persons;

(b) direct financial contributions provided by Member States primarily aiming at projects related to the area of migration, border management and asylum or at projects in third countries that may have a direct impact on the flows at the external borders or may improve the asylum, reception and migration systems of the third country concerned, including assisted voluntary return and reintegration programmes and antitrafficking or antismuggling programmes;" [emphasis added]


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Further reading

09 January 2023

EU: Tracking the Pact: Civil-military "synergies" for external migration control

In early December the Czech Presidency of the Council circulated a note on the "state of play" of the EU's various asylum and migration initiatives, intended to inform member state delegations in the Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER). It is essentially a brief summary of work under the outgoing Czech Presidency. According to the note, this included the exploration of possible civil-military "synergies" in externalised migration control, through a meeting of the Council's External Migration Working Party with representatives of EUCAP Sahel Niger and EUBAM Libya.

19 December 2022

Tracking the Pact: Czech Presidency's "way forward" on new laws, mechanisms and Dublin transfers

A note circulated by the Czech Presidency to the Council's Strategic Committee on Immigration, Frontiers and Asylum (SCIFA) at the end of November.

17 November 2022

Council seeks to water down human rights safeguards in migration “instrumentalisation” rules

References to child’s best interest and non-refoulement removed; derogations could be applied to people “disembarked following search and rescue operations”.


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