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Migration and Home Affairs


In the EU context, a situation of crisis that is either caused by
a) an exceptional situation of mass influx of third-country nationals or stateless persons arriving in an EU Member State or disembarked on its territory following search and rescue (SAR) operations, being of such a scale and nature, taking into account, inter alia, the population, GDP and geographical specificities, including the size of the territory of the EU Member State concerned, that it renders the well-prepared EU Member State's asylum, reception or return system non-functional such that there may be serious consequences for the functioning of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) of the Common Framework as set out in the Asylum and Migration Management Regulation; or
b) a situation of instrumentalisation where a third country or non-state actor encourages or facilitates the movement of third-country nationals and stateless persons to the external EU borders or to an EU Member State, with the aim of destabilising the European Union or an EU Member State where such actions are liable to put at risk essential functions of an EU Member State, including the maintenance of law and order or the safeguard of its national security.


Art. 1(2) of the Proposal for a Regulation addressing situations of crisis and force majeure in the field of migration and asylum - Council of the European Union: Mandate for negotiations with the European Parliament, 4 October 2023.


  • BG: миграционна криза
  • CS: migrační krize
  • DE: Migrationskrise
  • EL: μεταναστευτική κρίση
  • EN: migration crisis
  • ES: crisis migratoria
  • ET: rändekriis
  • FI: muuttoliikekriisi / maahanmuuttokriisi
  • FR: crise migratoire
  • GA: géarchéim imirce
  • HR: migracijska kriza
  • HU: migrációs válság
  • IT: crisi migratoria
  • LT: migracijos krizė
  • LV: migrācijas krīze
  • MT: Kriżi migratorja
  • NL: migratiecrisis
  • PL: kryzys migracyjny
  • PT: crise migratória
  • RO: criza mi-grațională
  • SK: migračná kríza
  • SL: migracijska kriza
  • SV: migrationskris
  • NO: migrasjonskrise
  • KA: მიგრაციული კრიზისი
  • UK: міграційна криза
  • HY: միգրացիոն ճգնաժամ

Related Term(s)


  1. The New Pact on Migration and Asylum consists of a set of legislative proposals, including the proposal for a Regulation addressing situations of crisis and force majeure in the field of migration and asylum. In a crisis situation or in cases of force majeure (e.g. pandemics, natural disasters), EU Member States may be authorised by the Council to apply special rules on asylum and return procedures, in accordance with the principles of necessity and proportionality and in full respect of fundamental rights. They may also request solidarity contributions, in the form of:
    • the relocation of applicants or beneficiaries of international protection from the EU Member State in a crisis situation to contributing Member States
    • responsibility offsets, i.e. the supporting EU Member State would take over the responsibility to examine applications for international protection with a view to relieve the EU Member State that finds itself in a crisis situation;
    • financial contributions or alternative solidarity measures.
  2. The definition of migration crisis in the Proposal of the Crisis and Force Majeure Regulation refers to two different crisis situations, it reflects the current wording following negotiations in the Council of the European Union and may therefore be subject to changes during the further legislative process. It is provisional, which can also be seen in the fact that the earlier version of the definition part (a) only referred to irregular migration. The term has been included in the glossary because of its importance for further discussions in order to be able to conduct these discussions on a common basis.
  3. The refugee crisis of 2015 (sometimes called the migrant crisis or the migrant and refugee crisis) is mentioned in the proposal as one of the drivers behind the need for new legislation. However, the term migration crisis does not refer to the events of 2015, but aims at any forthcoming crises.
  4. There is no internationally or universally accepted definition of the term migration crisis. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has developed a Migration Crisis Operational Framework (MCOF), for more information see IOM: Addressing the mobility dimensions of crisis. IOM defines 'migration crises' in its Glossary on Migration 2019 as follows: 'the complex and often large-scale migration flows and mobility patterns caused by a crisis which typically involve significant vulnerabilities for individuals and affected communities and generate acute and longer-term migration management challenges. A migration crisis may be sudden or slow in onset, can have natural or man-made causes, and can take place internally or across borders.'
  5. In the EU context, the terms migration crisis and migratory pressure both refer to situations involving a considerable increase in the numbers of migrants arriving in an EU Member State. However, the situations differ mainly
    • in the scale (a migration crisis is an “exceptional situation of mass influx”'; migratory pressure refers to “a large number of arrivals or a risk of such arrivals”) and
    • in the impact on the EU Member State and its migration authorities (a migration crisis can render the national system “non-functional' and potentially affect the CEAS, whereas migratory pressure places a “burden" on an EU Member State's system to manage the situation). By all accounts, a migration crisis is a situation of far more gravity than migratory pressure and it can also be caused by instrumentalisation.
    The classification as a migration crisis or migratory pressure will lead to the application of different legal regimes.