EU: Tracking the Pact: French Presidency proposes "a gradual approach" on migration and asylum


At the beginning of January the French state took on the Presidency of the Council of the EU, and last week proposed "a gradual approach" to the Pact on Migration and Asylum. This could also be viewed as a 'pick and mix' perspective, with the emphasis on those measures that member states are most likely to agree upon.

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The French Presidency's proposed approach would involve the member states adopting "a 'core' of measures," with priority going to:

  • "some of the elements of the 'screening'" at borders, including support from EU agencies to implement controls and registration in Eurodac;
  • progress on deportations and readmission policy, including the punitive new elements of the Visa Code, more external action from Frontex, and more "joint cross-border patrols," presumably in the hope of detecting people engaged in unauthorised "secondary movements"; and
  • reception, with the Presidency suggesting the possibility of "a new mechanism for the relocation of persons in need of protection" that should be "simple, pragmatic, predictable and credible."

See the full note: Migration and asylum: a gradual approach for the benefit of the European Union and all Member States (11 January 2022, pdf):

"The discussions held in recent months on the Migration Pact proposed by the Commission have enabled us to identify the points on which we are ready to work together now and those on which we still need to build the foundations for trustful cooperation. The Presidency therefore proposes to adopt a gradual approach, in order to make initial concrete progress now, while maintaining the same level of ambition in the long term."

Image: European Council, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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