In a historic vote this afternoon, the European Parliament gave its blessing to the deal on the EU’s new Migration and Asylum Pact, along with other laws that constitute the reform of the Union’s asylum system, as a final step before the new rulebook can enter into force.

President of Renew Europe, Valérie Hayer, said:

“Today we deliver: throughout this mandate, Renew Europe has advocated for enhancing the EU’s asylum system, today it’s a reality. This marks an end to the unbearable failure by EU countries to find common ground on how to deal best with migration. The candidates standing in the EU elections who voted against this agreement are those who don’t want changes, but surf on people’s misery. Despite the attempts of the far-right to block European solutions, the EU is demonstrating that united, we can establish this needed reform.”

Negotiations on the package were very tough, against the backdrop of a very chilly political climate, with extremist forces on the rise. But Parliament has obtained a series of important safeguards and improvements. The new laws offer a constructive way forward, creating more order and more solidarity.

Procedures will be more uniform and shorter and for the first time there is basis for compulsory relocation. Reception standards, in particular for vulnerable groups, have been improved, unaccompanied children will get a legal representative upon arrival, detention of children must be authorised by a judge, and access to the labour market will be sped up. The ad hoc measures of member states in case of crises will be replaced by a legal framework, and monitoring at all stages of the procedure has been foreseen.

Going into the implementation phase, Renew Europe emphasizes that Parliament must make sure that the rules are applied strictly and fully in line with our values. President Hayer said:

Now, it is all about the implementation. The Commission must monitor the enforcement and take action if rules and rights are violated. Ultimately, the success of the reform hinges on how Member States put it into practice.