COMECE: New EU Pact on migration presents several critical issues

Legal expert José Luis Bazan of the Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Union (COMECE) says that the agreement reached on Wednesday over the major reform of the EU's migration presents several critical issues though it is still a step forward, considering the present polarized context.

Apr 12, 2024

By Delphine Allaire and Lisa Zengarini
Though “not a solution” to the management of the influx of migrants and refugees in Europe, in the present polarized context in Europe the new EU Asylum and Migration Pact can still be seen as “a step forward”, according to José Luis Bazan, a legal adviser of the Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Union (COIMECE).

Polarized political context
The final text of the reform was approved by the European Parliament on 10 April after eight years of deadlock over repeated efforts to tighten the EU's migration and asylum rules. The reform is designed to speed up the asylum process and boost the return of irregular migrants to home countries and will require all 27 member states to share responsibility for asylum seekers.

Considering the current extreme polarization of European society and politics on the issue of migration, the mere  fact that an agreement has been reached is in itself positive, Mr. Bazan told Vatican News’ Delphine Allaire.

Of course there are "gaps and grey zones in which it's not very clear what will happen”. This is why, he said, it is important to follow up the implementation of the new Pact.

Another reason for concern is also the resources that will have to be allocated  to speed up processes at borders considering that the time given to assess  the legal status of those entering Europe is very short. “You need to deploy people with expertise”, who will have to be trained, and also offer proper accommodation.

However, Mr. Balzan said, “if the Pact starts to be enforced in a very short time, I'm not so sure that all the States will have the will and the resources” to do so.--Vatican News

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