Opinion Factsheet  

New Pact on Migration and Asylum

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Opinion Number: CDR 4843/2020
Rapporteur: GROTHEER Antje
Commission: CIVEX
Status: Adopted
Date: 19/03/2021
 
The opinion on the New Pact on Migration and Asylum presented by the European Commission on 23 September 2020 is an opportunity to practically address the issue of migration which, despite being a constant feature throughout human history, represents an urgent task for the EU and its Member States who need to build a stable migration system fully grounded in European values and international law. According to the European Commission, he Pact represents and attempt to 'move away from ad-hoc solutions and put in place a predictable and reliable migration management system' . It advocates integrated policy-making and comprises policies in the areas of asylum, migration, return, external border protection, fight against migrants’ smuggling and relations with third countries.

The policy area 'Migration and integration' falls under the CoR's overarching political priority 2: Managing fundamental societal transformations: Building resilient regional and local communities'. Under this priority, all European decisions should be taken in light of the commitment to tackle the major societal transformations
facing the villages, cities and regions.

The primary objective of this opinion is for the regional and local input to be taken into consideration in the reform of EU’s migration policy. This is because the socio-economic impact of migration and everyday questions of reception and integration of migrants are strongly felt at local and regional level. The issue can be even more significant for the cities and regions that are close to points of entry into the EU as well as for the ones that receive many asylum seekers or refugees. The experience shows that migration occurs not only cross border, but also within the same country from one region to another as migrants from the same town or region in countries of origin tend to concentrate in the same geographical areas in the host country . This must be acknowledged and these regions need additional support.

The position of the European Committee of the Regions with regards to future EU migration policies is contained in its Resolution adopted on 2 July 2020 concerning its priorities for 2020-2025, 'Europe closer to the people through its villages, cities and regions' . Under the points 41 and 42, the CoR's priorities (and hence the objectives of this opinion) are to:

Ensure that the EU develops a comprehensive, humanitarian and fair migration policy and does not leave its Member States, border regions, islands and outermost regions alone in dealing with the migration crisis, as this is both a national and a European issue; support the exchange of best practices between regional and local authorities on the integration of migrants;
Provide regional and local input into reforming the EU’s migration policy, including integration, fair return procedures and asylum policies that should be able to respond adequately to current and future migration trends; address the root causes of migration, in cooperation with countries of origin and transit, for those in need of humanitarian protection; protect the EU’s external borders; prevent irregular migration and fight against human trafficking.

Importance

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Das EU-Migrations- und Asylpaket und Bremen / New Pact on Migration and Asylum and Bremen

Antje Grotheer (DE/PES), CoR rapporteur on the opinion on the New Pact on Migration and Asylum, presented her position in an online event organised by Bremen, Germany.

The EU's refugee policy is often and fiercely debated. The positions are polarised and range between the desire to limit the reception of refugees, a complete opening of borders, a fairer distribution of refugees within the EU and an improvement in conditions in the reception camps.
The focus is often on the inconsistent approach of the members of the EU, the action at the external borders and, above all, the lack of community action with regard to humanitarian grievances.
Under the moderation of Elisa Rheinheimer-Chabbi (journalist) the event features an exchange ideas with the guests, Friedrich-Nikolaus von Peter, the political officer of the European Commssion Representation in Germany who presented the central building blocks of the package, and Karl Kopp, Head of the Europe Department at PRO ASYL, and Antje Grotheer, Vice-President of the Bremen Citizenship and Bremisches Member of the Committee of the Regions.
https://youtu.be/ZfqFH3J7NbY

 
25 Mar
 

MEP Tomas Tobé (SV/EPP) at CoR Plenary debate on the New Pact on Migration and Asylum

Speaking at the CoR's plenary on 17 March, the European Parliament's rapporteur on the asylum and migration management regulation – Tomas Tobé (SV/EPP) – said solidarity should be "mandatory" but with "flexible" options, adding that new ideas for forms of solidarity would probably be needed. He said: "The current European asylum system is flawed, which heavily affects the regions and local areas, especially in the frontline Member States. To ease this pressure, we need to have a well-functioning migration system. We need meaningful solidarity and a fair sharing of responsibility across the Union -- but we have to find pragmatic solutions, because we have been discussing this basically since 2016 with very, very slow progress. But no matter what we will agree on, we need implementation, because if we had a functioning implementation of the current system, we would not be in the problems we have now. We have a lot of things to do before we can come to any kind of political conclusions on the Pact.". He also called for prioritising refugees over irregular migrants.

 
17 Mar
 

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE: POTENTIALS & LIMITATIONS OF SUBNATIONAL RESPONSES TO THE MIGRANT QUESTION IN EUROPE

The international conference “Potentials and Limitations of Subnational Responses to the Migrant Question in Europe” organised by Inter Alia ( a civic action, non-profit organisation aiming at the creation of an inclusive and active European civil society) brought together mayors and local representatives, EU policy makers, civil society and scholars to discuss EU migration policy and policies outside the framework of nation-states, including local governance institutions and civil society.

Antje Grotheer (DE/PES), rapporteur of the European Committee of the Regions on the New Pact on Migration and Asylum, took part in the panel debate on European Governments & the Civil Society: Towards a Permanent Break over the Migration Question?

More information can be found on: https://interaliaproject.com/event/international-conference-potentials-limitations-of-subnational-solutions-to-the-migrant-question-in-europe/


 
04 Mar
 

MEP Tomas Tobé (SV/EPP) at CIVEX commission

European Parliament's rapporteur on the Asylum and Migration Management Regulation – Tomas Tobé (SV/EPP) – participated in the CIVEX commission debate on the New Pact on Migration and Asylum where he presented his views on the shortcomings of the current European asylum and called for a well-functioning migration system with meaningful solidarity and a fair sharing of responsibility across the Union, while pointing out the impracticability of a mandatory relocation mechanism.

 
16 Feb
 

CoR Rapporteur's attendance of EESC Hearing on New Pact on Migration and Asylum

Mrs. Antje Grotheer and her expert attended the EESC hearing on the New Pact on Migration and Asylum.

 
26 Nov
 

Meeting of CoR rapporteur with EESC rapporteurs

CoR rapporteur, Mrs Antje Grotheer (DE/PES), met with her European Economic and Social Committee counterparts, rapporteur José Antonio Moreno Diaz, co-rapporteur Cristian Pirvulescu, and the experts for each side to discuss the European Commission's proposals under the New Pact on Migration and Asylum. Exchange of views included:
• Solidarity mechanism
• Returns
• Legal migration
• Pre-screening procedures
• Impact on local and regional authorities
• Human rights
• Rule of law

 
18 Nov
 

Meeting CoR Rapporteur Antje Grotheer / EP rapporteur Birgit Sippel MEP

Mrs Grotheer met with Mrs Birgit SIPPEL, MEP (now EP rapporteur for the Screening Regulation), to discuss the New Pact on Migration and Asylum.

 
13 Oct