The new Pact on Migration and Asylum was presented this morning by the President of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, and proposes a "fair sharing of responsibility and solidarity between member states while providing certainty for individual applicants". Among the novelties:
- a new compulsory "pre-entry screening" involving health, identity and security checks
- a new faster asylum border process involving decisions within 12 weeks and swift returns for failed applicants
The new system will allow Member States to choose between two possible alternatives: to activate the relocation to their territory, according to pre-established quotas, of irregular migrants seeking asylum who have arrived in the country requesting solidarity; to take on the responsibility for repatriation ("return sponsorship" ) of migrants for whom it has already been established that they are not entitled to international protection, again on the basis of pre-established quotas.
The program, which will replace the Dublin Treaty, became necessary after the fire of the Moria camp, on the Greek island of Lesbos, which housed over 12,000 asylum seekers.