EU ambassadors on Wednesday reached an agreement on the regulation addressing crisis situations in the event of a mass arrival of migrants, bringing the EU significantly closer to a final agreement on the Migration and Asylum Pact.
“EU Ambassadors have reached an agreement on the regulation addressing situations of crisis and force majeure in the field of migration and asylum,” the Spanish EU Presidency said.
The agreement is a joint position of the member states based on which the rotating EU Presidency will negotiate the final text of the law with representatives of the European Parliament.
The regulation on crisis situations on the EU’s external border is the last element in a legislative set of ten regulations called the New Migration and Asylum Pact, on which the Council of the EU has reached an agreement.
The agreement on the joint position of the member states on that proposal is just an intermediate step towards the final text of the law. Once the Council adopts a position, which requires a qualified majority, talks with the European Parliament on the final text of the law will begin.
The regulation on the management of crisis situations is expected to regulate the procedure in cases of a major influx of migrants on the EU’s external borders, similar to those in 2015 and 2016. The proposed regulation envisages an exemption from the usual procedure in processing asylum applications. The proposal provides for the possibility of keeping migrants on the external border for 20 instead of 12 weeks, as well as an expedited and simplified procedure for the processing of asylum applications for migrants coming from countries whose nationals are less likely to obtain a positive response, that is, those that have less than 75% of positive decisions on asylum applications.
The proposal also envisages fast activation of the mechanism of solidarity with countries on the EU’s external border that are faced with a major influx of migrants, under which the other member states would have to accept a certain number of those people or give a financial contribution.
It had been expected that the agreement on the regulation would be reached at last week’s meeting of home affairs ministers after Germany, which previously had reservations, changed its position and decided to support the draft regulation. However, during the debate between the ministers, Italy requested additional time to study the compromise text of the document proposed by the Spanish Presidency.