The New Pact on Migration: A Set of Innovative Proposals with an Uncertain Outcome

The New Pact on Migration and Asylum represents a welcome step in the reform of Europe’s asylum and migration policies. By favouring a reduction in irregular migration headed to the EU, repatriations of irregular migrants, increased refugee resettlements, greater external border protection and more efficient asylum procedures, the Pact represents a step towards a sustainable interpretation of the Refugee Convention by the EU and its members. The Pact also offers new ideas on burden-sharing which may be more acceptable to the EU members than the previous proposals on permanent mandatory relocations of asylum seekers.

Although following the publication of the New Pact all the member states have indicated a willingness to negotiate, it is going to require considerable patience and goodwill to reach an agreement that will satisfy national sensitivities while also serving the overall EU interest.