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New Pact on Migration – Policy Analysis

Date 12 November, 2020
Category Policy Brief

On 23rd September 2020, the European Commission presented its plans for the future of migration and asylum management in Europe. Whilst it has been widely acknowledged that an overhaul of the current system is imperative, the New Pact does little to quell concerns from INGOs, civil society groups, and human rights watchdogs. The Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN) has decided to focus on independent border monitoring, pre-screening procedures and mechanisms that immediately follow for the purpose of this policy analysis. These indicate a system in which external borders will be fortified in the interest of accelerating decision making processes for new arrivals into the bloc. This policy analysis covers:

  • Screening Procedures
    • Detention
    • Safe Country of Origin Concepts
    • Age Verification Procedures
    • Extension of Time Limits in ‘Crises’
    • Appeal Procedures
    • Independent Monitoring Mechanisms
    • Case Study: Croatia’s Lack of Monitoring

This move has been criticised as a repackaging of the EU’s failed ‘hotspot’ approach which saw thousands trapped in camps at borders and on islands in geographically disadvantaged states least equipped to deal with influxes, such as Greece and Italy. The inadequacy of this approach was most recently exemplified by the recent fire in Moria on Lesvos which left 13,000 homeless. The pre-screening procedure will hold all incoming third country nationals (TCNs) in de facto detention as they await health assessments, confirmation of identity and a first assessment of whether or not they require international protection in the EU, before being granted entry into the territory of any Member State (MS). This, coupled with a renewed commitment to accelerated returns, suggests that the stage has been set for a regime that continues to violate human rights guarantees as laid out in the 1951 Geneva Convention and the European Charter of Fundamental Rights.

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