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No time to lose on new Pact on Migration and Asylum


27 Jan 2023


Social Europe & Jobs

The Swedish Presidency of the Council of the European Union must deliver progress on the EU migration deal, as mandated in the Roadmap on the Pact on Migration and Asylum agreed by EU co-legislators. This was the demand from today’s Migration and Integration Network (MIN) of the Party of European Socialists (PES).

European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson, MEPs, representatives from PES member parties and organisations, and NGOs convened by videoconference to exchange on the progress of the Pact’s legislative proposals to achieve a common European migration and asylum policy.

MEP Carina Ohlsson, SAP Sweden, chair of the PES Migration and Integration Network, said:

“The solidarity declaration agreed last year was an important milestone, but we still have a long way ahead of us. A mandatory solidarity mechanism, including for Search and Rescue is a key priority for our family.  All Member States must take their fair share of responsibility. It is incumbent on the current Presidency to make progress so we can get the deal over the line during this mandate.

“There is not time to lose. The Swedish Presidency must not squander the built up thanks to the leadership of Commissioner Johansson and strong progressive campaigning in the European Parliament.”

Last year, European Commissioner Ylva Johansonsecured a joint commitment from the European Parliament and the EU Council Presidencies to reach an agreement during this mandate on European Commission proposals on migration and asylum.

European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson said:

“There is good progress on the Pact, this must continue to reach adoption on all files before the end of the mandate. The challenges with irregular migration and high number of asylum applications need to be addressed. It is important that the European Council continues to work close together in managing migration together, focusing on concrete, operational actions tackling smuggling, reducing unsafe arrivals, increasing legal pathways and better and quicker procedures in the Member States.”

The meeting also discussed 2023 as the EU Year of Skills, highlighting the importance of building on EU initiatives introduced by Commissioner Johansson under the Pact on Migration and Asylum. The EU needs to be more ambitious in addressing the competences of migrants. It is vital to continuously support the assessment, upskilling and reskilling of people with a migration background in order to strengthen their inclusion in society.

The Network reaffirmed the commitment of the PES to ensuring that people fleeing war and persecution receive the right protection. There must be effective legal avenues, both for humanitarian reasons and for labour migration. Building on the strong EU response to the refugee influx following the brutal invasion of Ukraine by Russia, it is time to work to strengthen solidarity and cooperation between Member States on asylum and migration policy.

The meeting also had an exchange with MEP Juan Fernando (PSOE Spain), chair the LIBE committee in the European Parliament, Sylvie Guillaume (PS France) and Birgit Sippel (SPD Germany) on progressive activity with Parliament to progress on the Pact.