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S&D Group supports reliable and workable EU asylum reforms


14 Feb 2024



Today, the Socialists and Democrats voted in favour of the New Pact on Migration and Asylum in the civil liberties, justice and home affairs committee (LIBE) in the European Parliament.  

The committee vote is among the final steps in reforming the migration and asylum processes in the EU following years of complex negotiations across several EU presidencies. The S&D Group has consistently supported workable reforms to the Common European Asylum System based on clear, reliable rules with more solidarity and shared responsibility among EU member states.  

Given that the vast majority of migration to the EU is regular and legal, either for work, family or educational purposes, the S&D Group is determined to see more progress on harmonising legal migration routes to the EU.  

Birgit Sippel, S&D LIBE co-ordinator and rapporteur for the screening procedure, said: 

“The New Pact on Migration and Asylum is about delivering a reliable Common European Asylum System both for individuals seeking protection and for EU member states obliged to offer protection.  

“The negotiations were extremely difficult with member states and the starting positions of the Parliament and the Council were very far apart. The nature of compromise means that some aspects of the outcome are not ideal, in particular when it comes to the risk of excessive use of detention in border procedures. However, we are ready to play our role in making sure the new Pact is fully implemented on the ground, in particular with respect to fundamental rights and the rule of law. This is crucial for the Pact’s success.  

“With the screening regulation, we have made sure that anyone entering the EU irregularly will undergo a vulnerability check and will be registered so that we know who is entering the EU. We have done everything we can in this new procedure to guarantee the right to asylum and respect of fundamental rights.” 

Juan Fernando López Aguilar, S&D LIBE Chair and rapporteur for the crisis regulation, said: 

“Today we are showing we can deliver workable solutions and overcome the fragmented, isolated approach that we have been used to in EU migration and asylum policy. The New Pact will result in more solidarity and more trust among EU countries and this is a real step forward for the EU. 

“We are abandoning the status quo where previously there has been a complete lack of solidarity in the system. Whenever a member state faces an exceptional situation of mass arrivals of migrants, the EU will now be able to quickly respond to its specific needs and ensure the fundamental rights of those seeking protection. 

“The new rules mark a much-needed shift from short-sighted reactions to a long-term strategy for crisis situations. Most importantly, individual countries will no longer be left on their own and we now have European solutions in place. This is progress and an improvement on the status quo.”