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Briefing on the New Pact Votes: Screening Regulation and Asylum Procedures Regulation

In September 2020, a New Pact on Migration and Asylum was put forward at the proposal of the European Commission. It was clear from the start, that the proposed changes to migration management and the asylum system under the New Pact were deviating further away from best human rights standards for people on the move, and contrary to recommendations put forward for years by civil society organisations. Instead, it would set the stage for a lowering of standards and scrapping of safeguards. Today, the European Parliament will vote on four key files from the Pact: the Screening Regulation, the Asylum Procedures Regulation (APR), the Regulation on Asylum and Migration Management (RAMM), and the Crisis Proposal. The proposals, as they stand to be voted on today, mean two things in reality for people seeking international protection: more detention, faster deportations. The individuals who will be casting their votes on the current files hold a significant responsibility in their decision-making process. Their choices will endorse a system in which individuals seeking international protection may be detained without due process, some as young as 12 years old. The rapid returns of such individuals could result in a failure to provide adequate protection, leaving room for potential violations of non-refoulement, as well as the right to protection from torture and other inhumane treatment. In the event of a passive position from important members of the  European Parliament (EP), things only stand to deteriorate further in the trilogues where the Commission will pressure to reinstate some of their most problematic provisions and push out the few safeguards that have been included through Parliamentary negotiations.