The new Pact on Migration and Asylum, presented on Wednesday last week, September 23, has attracted a lot of attention from the governments of the Member States, high EU officials, Members of the EU Parliament, Human Rights Watch, human right organizations and civil society.
While many have welcomed it calling it a right step in the right direction in order to ensure a comprehensive and common European approach to migration, others have criticized it either for not being enough to bring real change or for being too much for the Member States to bear.
Members of the Civil Liberties Committee of the European Union Parliament have been the first to show their doubts that the new Pact on Migration and Asylum, is enough to bring the change needed in Europe.
In a debate of the Committee on the new pact, some of the MEPs demanded a firmer stance on irregular arrivals. Several of them claimed throughout the meeting that the pact might be the only way forward, taking into account the position of several EU member states.
One of the main issues that the MEPs are concerned regarding the new pact is what would happen if most Member States do not want to transfer refugees to their territory but instead sponsor returns of those without a right to stay instead, as the new migration pact grants them with the rights to do so.
The proposal, which has already been sent to the European Parliament and Council to examine and adopt, amongst others sets new rules and procedures for asylum seekers at the borders, foresees improved management of the external borders, and more regular arrivals and less irregular ones.
France is among the first EU member states to openly show its support towards the new migration pact, insisting that the reform is necessary and urgent.
In a press release, the government has pledged that alongside with the Commission and other EU members, it will make sure that the discussions on the text within the parliament and the Council will start as soon as possible.
“France calls for an ambitious reform, based on a fair balance between responsibility and solidarity. We must strongly strengthen controls at the EU’s external borders, both to curb irregular immigration, encouraged by the activities of smugglers’ networks that we must fight relentlessly and to offer those eligible for asylum better support as soon as they arrive on European territory,” the press release reads.
The government, however, calls on the EU to conduct a more demanding dialogue with the countries of origin and transit in matters of immigration, in order to help strengthen the political and economic.
A Guest Editorial