Refugee movements and migration are at the centre of global attention. In recent years, Europe has had to respond to the most severe migratory challenge since the end of the Second World War. The unprecedented arrival of refugees and irregular migrants in the EU, which peaked in 2015, exposed a series of deficiencies and gaps in EU policies on asylum, external borders and migration.
As the reform of the common asylum policy stalled, in September 2020, the Commission proposed a new Pact on Migration and Asylum, which sets out faster procedures throughout the EU’s asylum and migration system and provides new options how member states can show solidarity. The new pact constitutes a revision of the Dublin regulation, which determines the country responsible for processing each asylum claim.
The immigration policy at European level deals both with legal and irregular immigration. Regarding regular immigration, the EU decides on conditions for legal entry and residence. Member states keep the right to rule on admission volumes for people coming from non-EU countries to seek work.
In September 2021 MEPs adopted the reform of the EU Blue Card to facilitate the employment of highly qualified non-EU nationals and help alleviate labour shortages in key sectors. Originally proposed by the Commission in 2016, this will be the only legislative change at EU level in the field of legal labour migration in recent years.
The European Parliament is actively involved, in the adoption of new laws on irregular and regular immigration. It is a full co-legislator together with the Council representing member states on these matters since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty in 2009.
As more than two million refugees flee war in Ukraine, mostly towards the EU, member states will have to continue showing solidarity, MEPs said on Tuesday.
In a plenary debate with Brigitte Klinkert, French Minister Delegate for Economic Inclusion, on behalf of the Council, and Commissioner Ylva Johansson, MEPs highlighted the dramatic humanitarian and refugee situation caused by the Russian attack on Ukraine.
The Russian attack on Ukraine on 24 February has forced millions of people to flee their homes seeking safety, protection and assistance. MEPs addressed the dramatic humanitarian situation of people fleeing the war in Ukraine in a plenary debate, with Commissioner Johansson announcing further measures to respond to the migratory flows.