Key to the EU migration pact: States can avoid admission if they pay compensation

Negotiators from the European Parliament and the Council have reached an agreement on the Migration and Asylum Pact, which will reform common policies with greater control of the European Union’s external borders and offer to governments “Solidarity on demand” This allows them to avoid accepting resettled migrants if they pay compensation for each rejected transfer.

The Presidents of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsolaand the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyenhas agreed to highlight the “historic” moment represented by the agreement, which puts an end to years of tension between the EU countries themselves – since the so-called “refugee crisis” of 2015 – and arrives in time to complete its processing. ahead of the European elections in June, a deadline that has put pressure on negotiators to avoid their development being undermined by the election campaign and the advance of the far right.

Metsola has defended that “it is a humane approach, fair to those who seek protection, firm to those who are not entitled to it and firm to those who exploit the most vulnerable.” He said this in a press conference with those negotiating MEPs, including Spaniard Juan Fernando López Aguilar (PSOE), who stressed that the pact was “designed for the Canary Islands”.

Main points of the agreement

  • A Mechanism of “flexible solidarity”. This will force the Twenty-Seven to respond to a partner overwhelmed by the arrival of migrants by either relocating some of the people who have arrived to their territory or paying a set amount of compensation for each migrant they reject. The goal is to transfer at least 30,000 migrants each year. However, countries can refuse to accept part of the migrants admitted in exchange for compensation of 20,000 euros for each rejected transfer or equivalent funds or means.
  • Boundary reinforcement: Pre-entry screening for those who do not meet the entry conditions, including identification and collection of biometric data, as well as health and security checks, in a process that will last a maximum of seven days. Authorities must take into account the special needs of minors and each country will have an “independent oversight mechanism” to ensure respect for fundamental rights.

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A pact for the Canary Islands

MEP Juan Fernando López Aguilar has explained that the agreement reached provides for the activation of a “European response” for the transfer of migrants in the event that a region is overloaded, without requiring this for the entire country, which would benefit the Canary Islands .

Aguilar has pointed out that “the crisis can be declared not only due to saturation at the national level, but also at the local or regional level, with a clause specifically designed for islands such as the Greeks, Lampedusa and the Canary Islands. “Islands.”

Criticism of NGOs

Despite the optimism expressed by both MEPs and governments represented by the Spanish Presidency, several NGOs saw the outcome as a “step back” in protecting the fundamental rights of vulnerable migrants arriving in or on the European Union irregularly Search for protection.

Amnesty International’s director in Europe, Eve Geddie, has pointed out that “this agreement aims to make it harder for people to arrive safely”, claiming that it will make it easier to “de facto” detain more people allow. at the EU border, including families with children and vulnerable people.”

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