19 December 2022
A note circulated by the Czech Presidency to the Council's Strategic Committee on Immigration, Frontiers and Asylum (SCIFA) at the end of November.
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Image: Council of the EU
The note (pdf) sets out a proposed "way forward" for:
This is based on a Czech Presidency proposal initially put forward in October and that is included in updated form in an annex to the document.
This section discusses the possibility of launching or relaunching talks with the European Parliament on a number of files that were proposed as part of the New Pact, or which were included in the 2016 Common European Asylum System legislative package.
Regarding the Reception Conditions Directive, on which a provisional agreement between the Council and Parliament was reached in 2018, the document states:
"It is important to recall that the European Parliament has accepted many of the Council’s positions which they were initially sceptical about, including, in particular, the notion that applicants have no right to reception conditions, with the exception of basic needs being met to ensure a dignified standard of living, if they are in the ‘wrong’ Member State, and the notion that Member States may allocate applicants to geographical areas without individual decisions."
"The European Parliament has also almost entirely accepted the Council’s position on access to the labour market, in exchange for which the Parliament obtained strengthened guarantees for minors, language courses and the possibility to provide the daily expenses allowance not only in products but also partially in cash. This fragile balance could be difficult to maintain, should the negotiations be reopened, as the European Parliament might want to renegotiate many of the issues already accepted and the Council might end up losing some of the concessions obtained."
"As regards the Roadmap and intensified contacts between the Czech Presidency and the European Parliament, the three conditions on the European Parliament’s side for making progress remain: (1) its insistence that none of the three proposals should be reopened for further negotiations (i.e. the EP wants to keep to the 2018 provisional agreements); (2) its strong preference for freezing the files after the trilogues are formally concluded, so that they can be adopted later as part of a package; and (3) its desire to see progress on the solidarity aspects of the reform.
The Council would therefore need to formally accept the 2018 versions of all three regulations, which might not, however, then be adopted yet. This would give the Council the assurances and leverage needed with regard to the trilogues on Eurodac and Screening Regulations."
"In the wake of the particular challenges faced as a consequence of the migration crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic, the disruption of the system is felt across the whole of the EU. Following the discussion at the Contact Committee meeting on Dublin III held on 25 June 2022, the Member States, the Commission and the EU Agency for Asylum (EUAA) agreed to work on a roadmap to improve and ensure proper and better implementation of transfers under Dublin III in all Member States."
The document provided the basis for discussion at the Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting on 8 December, for which the press release blandly states:
"The presidency provided a state of play on asylum and migration files. During the past months, intensive work has mainly focused on finding a way forward on EU migration solidarity, responsibility and crisis response. Work to integrate these principles in the legislative texts will continue under the upcoming Swedish presidency. The presidency also informed about recent positive developments related to the inter-institutional cooperation between the Council and the European Parliament, allowing to restart work on 5 legislative proposals under the Pact on migration and asylum."
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