EU is planning on cutting asylum numbers in tighter migrant rules

DailyBiteDec 21, 2023 | 10:25

EU is planning on cutting asylum numbers in tighter migrant rules

Scattered belongings across Sant Sebastia Beach after a migrant shipwreck in Barcelona, Spain, on December 11, 2023.Photo: Marc Asensio/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The European Union (EU), on Wednesday, December 20, finalised negotiations on a set of rules aimed at distributing the financial burden and responsibilities of hosting migrants and implementing measures to regulate and limit the influx of people seeking asylum.

This breakthrough agreement, which came after years of arguments is a part of the comprehensive New Pact on Migration and Asylum and is expected to come into effect in the coming year, reported Reuters.



  • While migrant arrivals in the EU have significantly decreased since the peak of 2015, a gradual uptick was observed recently.
  • The number, after hitting a low in 2020 reached 2,55,000 in 2023, up to November.
  • Notably, over half of these arrivals cross the Mediterranean from Africa, with Italy being a primary destination.

The new pact seeks to address the challenges posed by irregular migration and improve the efficiency of asylum processes within the EU.

Key provisions

  • The comprehensive set of laws will cover various aspects of migration management, including screening procedures for migrants upon arrival, asylum application handling, determination of responsibility among EU member states and crisis management, reported the New York Times.
  • Italian Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi called the pact a "great success" for both Europe and Italy, emphasising that border countries of Europe, particularly those most exposed to migration, would no longer bear the burden alone.
  • German Chancellor Olaf Scholz echoed this sentiment as well.
  • The new screening system aims to differentiate between individuals in need of international protection and those deemed ineligible.
  • Hence, the asylum seekers with low chances of success, including those from India, Tunisia, or Turkey, can be detained at the border, reported Reuters.
  • The processing of applications will also be expedited to streamline the overall process.

Shared responsibility

  • Previous attempts to distribute the responsibility of hosting migrants faced challenges, particularly from Eastern EU members.
  • The new system requires non-border countries to either accept their share of 30,000 asylum applicants or contribute a minimum of 20,000 euros ($21,870/Rs 18,22,846) per person to an EU fund.

According to Chancellor Scholz, "Agreement on the past was very important, relieving states affected - including Germany."


  • While EU leaders celebrate the agreement, Amnesty International expressed concerns, saying that the pact could set EU asylum law back decades.
  • The human rights organisation added that the system could lead to increased detentions at EU borders, adversely affecting vulnerable individuals and families seeking asylum.
  • Organisations like Oxfam, Caritas and Save the Children have also criticised the tightening grip, reported Al Jazeera.
Last updated: December 21, 2023 | 10:25
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