The European Union’s New Pact for Migration

The European Union made a new pact which would require all 27 European Union countries to take part either agreeing to take in asylum seekers or take charge of sending back those refused asylum. The new pact was strongly backed by the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who proposes a “fair sharing of responsibility and solidarity between member states while providing certainty for individual applicants”.  According to the pact, there should be a compulsory pre-entry screening which involved health, identity as well as security checks and a faster asylum border process which involved making decisions within 12 weeks and fast and steady returns for failed applicants.

Countries such as Hungary and Poland which have refused to take in arrivals in the past, would help by ensuring on behalf of other states that people refused asylum are sent back and by providing them immediate operational support.

Each state would be legally required to contribute their “fair share” which is calculated based on half on GDP, and half on population size.

The European Commission president said the new pact would “rebuild trust between member states” and strike the “right balance between solidarity and responsibility”.

The new pact was brought forward as a solution to the problems such as fires at the Moria camp on the island of Lesbos in Greece, housing more than 12,500 migrants and refugees.

Though the number of refugees arriving mainly from Turkey on European shores, primarily in Greece and Italy, seeking for refuge is down to about 55,000 this year from around 1.8 million refugees in 2015, however, the fires in the Moria migrant camp, which caused a necessity for the European states to take firmer action and take in those who have been left homeless were the main reasons which resulted in the formation of the new pact.