Negotiations for the EU Pact on Migration and Asylum are nearing completion, set to be finalized this month. Contrary to expectations, the pact is anticipated to exacerbate rather than remedy the EU's asylum and reception challenges. Critics argue that dignified reception, often viewed as a 'pull factor' for migrants, is neglected, leading to inhumane conditions. The EU's capital, Brussels, exemplifies this paradox, where over 2,600 asylum seekers sleep on the streets amid the city's affluence.
According to a report by the IPS Journal, the pact, introduced by the European Commission in 2020, is poised to restrict access to protection by keeping migrants in their first-entry country and implementing fast-track asylum procedures at borders. Detention and substandard reception conditions, particularly in border nations, are anticipated. Additionally, the screening mechanism could fuel racial profiling, and governments retain discretionary powers to delay asylum procedures and prolong border detentions.
Critics argue that the pact misses an opportunity to reform the dysfunctional Dublin system, sustaining the 'asylum lottery' and discouraging real solidarity among EU states. Externalization policies, such as cooperation with non-EU countries and the expanded use of the 'safe third country concept,' aim to shift asylum responsibility, despite legal and practical obstacles. As Europe grapples with rising xenophobia, fear, and inequality, advocates urge for a humane approach, emphasizing true solidarity, safe pathways, and robust integration policies. The EU's commitment to democracy and human rights is deemed at risk, necessitating vigilant monitoring and enforcement of EU law.
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