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European Pact on Immigration and Asylum

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European Pact on Immigration and Asylum

This pact is intended to be the basis for European Union immigration and asylum policies in a spirit of mutual responsibility and solidarity between Member States and a renewed partnership with non-EU countries.

ACT

European Pact on Immigration and Asylum of 24 September 2008 (Not published in the Official Journal).

SUMMARY

For many years, European countries have been working to harmonise their immigration and asylum policies. Significant progress has already been made on several issues, in particular under the Tampere, The Hague and most of allStockholm programmes.

Broadly, the pact seeks to:

  • organise legal immigration to take account of the priorities, needs and reception capacities determined by Member States and encourage immigrants’ integration;
  • control irregular immigration and encourage voluntary returns to the countries of origin or of transit of immigrants;
  • make border controls more effective;
  • build a European framework for asylum;
  • create a comprehensive partnership with non-EU countries in order to encourage the synergy between migration and development.

MAIN ACHIEVEMENTS

Asylum

Significant progress has been made since 2008 in the field of immigration, asylum, and border management. In this regard, a key achievement was the adoption of the completed Common European Asylum System (CEAS), which sets out common standards and stronger cooperation to ensure that asylum seekers are treated equally in an open and fair system throughout the European Union.

Important changes on border management have also been achieved, notably in regard to strengthening the governance of the Schengen system the setting up of a European border surveillance system (Eurosur) to prevent cross-border crime, and new tasks and resources provided to the Frontex agency.

Steps were also made in the field of return policy using Member States’ best practices and operational cooperation across the EU and in the fight against the exploitation of immigrants.

As regards partnership with non-EU countries, a dialogue is under way, particularly in the context of the Global Approach to Migration and the conclusion of bilateral agreements with Southern Mediterranean and Eastern Partnership countries, with a view to addressing the root causes of irregular and forced migration.

Legal migration

Several important legal acts have been adopted in the field of legal migration such as the single permit directive that allows non-EU nationals to reside and work throughout the EU with a single permit and the EU Blue Card directive that ensures their mobility. Other laws have been adopted to facilitate not only the entry of non-EU students and researchers in the EU but also seasonal workers, non-EU managers or specialists in the case of an intra-corporate transfer, or non-EU posted workers in the framework of the provision of the Services Directive.

All EU countries are also now implementing the law providing for sanctions against employers who use illegal labour.

NEXT STEPS

Determined action is now necessary to prevent migrants losing their lives in their attempt to reach the European shores. Efforts need also to be stepped up to fight against organised crime and promote integration.

For the 2014-20 period, actions in this field will be financed by 2 new funds:

RELATED ACTS

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council - 5th Annual Report on Immigration and Asylum (2013) (COM(2014) 288 final - not published in the Official Journal).

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council - 4th Annual Report on Immigration and Asylum (2012) (COM(2013) 422 final - not published in the Official Journal).

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council - 3rd Annual Report on Immigration and Asylum (2011) (COM(2012)250 final - not published in the Official Journal).

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council - 2nd Annual Report on Immigration and Asylum (2010) (COM(2011)0291 final - not published in the Official Journal).

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council - First Annual Report on Immigration and Asylum (2009) (COM(2010) 214 final - not published in the Official Journal).

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament: Tracking method for monitoring the implementation of the European Pact on Immigration and Asylum (COM(2009) 266 final - not published in the Official Journal).

Last updated: 11.09.2014

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