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Migration and Home Affairs
News article30 April 2024Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs3 min read

EU Pact on Migration and Asylum: reinforced rules to tackle migration challenges

On a grey coloured world map, different colourful round features appear. In the middle we read: Pact on Migration and Asylum.

Today, the first ministerial conference on the implementation of the Pact on Migration and Asylum took place in Ghent, bringing together interior ministers from EU Member States and Schengen associated countries, representatives of EU agencies, as well as representatives of the European Parliament and UN Agencies. Organised by the Belgian Presidency of the EU Council, the ministerial conference is an opportunity to work towards a common understanding of the main stages of the implementation of the Pact. Particular attention is brought to the development of common and national implementation plans, the role of EU agencies and key stakeholders, as well as good practices from EU countries.

The Pact was adopted by the European Parliament on 10 April 2024, allowing the EU to address a complex issue with determination and ingenuity. Almost four years after it was proposed by the Commission, in September 2020, its endorsement by the Parliament constitutes a significant step forward in tackling the migration and asylum challenges faced by the EU today, with measures designed for the long-term. The new rules introduced by the Pact reinforce the common EU asylum system, while strengthening the Union’s external borders, guaranteeing people's rights, and ensuring that no EU country is left alone under pressure.  

Securing the EU’s external borders 

One of the Pact’s primary aims is to strengthen the security of the EU’s external borders with enhanced border control measures. This is pursued though the establishment of uniform rules ensuring control and proper registration of irregular migrants and asylum seekers entering the EU, the introduction of a new screening process, the upgrade of the Eurodac database to a fully-fledged asylum and migration database, and the reinforcement of Frontex’s role in managing the Union's external borders. 

Establishing fast and efficient procedures  

The Pact is designed to create a more unified and effective approach to asylum procedures within the EU, benefiting asylum seekers by ensuring timely and fair processing of their applications, while also preventing abuses of the system. 

It introduces a common asylum procedure applicable in all EU countries with clearer rules, more efficient procedures, improved coordination and information sharing among countries, and the use of digital tools to speed up the processing of applications. Additionally, the Pact seeks to ensure that decisions are delivered in a timely manner, that guarantees are put in place to protect people’s rights, and that adequate living conditions and integration processes are made available.  

Creating an effective system of solidarity and responsibility 

The Pact establishes the principle of solidarity and shared responsibility among EU countries in managing migration and processing asylum claims. It introduces a flexible system where EU countries contribute based on their capacities and needs. At the same time, it sets out new responsibility criteria determining the EU country responsible for an asylum application and establishes safeguards preventing secondary movements. It also reinforces the role of EU agencies in coordinating these processes and providing operational and financial support where needed.  

These mechanisms aim to ensure a more equitable, but also clearer, distribution of responsibility among EU countries, promoting cooperation and alleviating the disproportionate burden on frontline countries. 

Embedding migration in international partnerships  

In its effort to address the root causes of irregular migration and fight migrant smuggling, the Pact focusses on strengthening international partnerships with countries of origin and transit. It expands cooperation with priority partners in the areas of border management, returns and readmission, while supporting development efforts to address the drivers of migration. Moreover, the Pact establishes and promotes legal pathways to migration through Talent Partnerships and an EU Talent Pool, facilitating international recruitment. 

With provisions also covering tailor-made Anti-Smuggling Operational Partnerships alongside non-EU countries and UN agencies, the Pact underlines the broader implications and global character of migration and asylum challenges today.  

Next steps 

The European Council is now due to formally endorse the Pact. Meanwhile, the Commission will present a Common EU Implementation Plan, together with EU agencies.   

Find out more 

Commissioner Johansson to participate in the ministerial conference on the Pact implementation

Ministerial conference on implementation and operationalisation of the EU Pact Asylum and Migration

Pact on Migration and Asylum – Commission policy page 

MEPs approve the new Migration and Asylum Pact 

Migration and asylum pact – EU Council 


Publication date
30 April 2024
Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs