ERR in Brussels: EU so far not reached final migration pact agreement

EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson (photo taken in Tallinn on March 21, 2022.)
EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson (photo taken in Tallinn on March 21, 2022.) Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

While European Union nations failed to reach an agreement on the details of a long-negotiated migration pact Thursday, the major players are hopeful this will come within the next few days, ERR's Joosep Värk reported from Brussels for "Aktuaalne kaamera."

The EU has long been calling for a compulsory system across the union which would standardize the management of migration, following years of disagreement, particularly on how to deal with large-scale influxes of migrants, such as that manufactured by the Lukashenko regime in Belarus.

EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson, the union's top migration official, said this week the bloc was set to strike a deal on how new arrivals in the EU who cross the external border in search of asylum would be shared out across the EU27, but this had not happened as of Thursday evening.

The upcoming European elections have also concentrated minds on the issue.

AK reported that crisis management regulation, the final of 10 such regulations under negotiation which will together make up the Migration Pact, concerns, for instance, situations such as that seen on the Belarus-EU border in summer 2021, when the Minsk regime exploited vulnerable people as a means of hybrid warfare, primarily against Poland, Lithuania and Latvia, all EU and NATO member states.

A more substantive agreement had already been reached in June, but the final round of negotiations, which ran to Thursday evening, did not yield a result, AK reported.

Ylva Johansson, European Commissioner for Migration of the European Commission, said that despite this, there are no longer any major obstacles to breakthrough. 

Johansson said: "I think it is clear that there are no major obstacles, so we will have the formal decision in a few days. It was not formally on the agenda today, but a lot of progress was nonetheless made in the discussion – so no major obstacles remain.

Thursday's business in the Belgian capital had begun brimming with optimism, AK reported. Thanks to Germany's last-minute change of heart, having earlier pursued a tougher stance, hopes were high that the migration pact's final details could be hashed out.

Maria Malmer Stenergard, Sweden's migration minister, told the press that: "Well I have received positive signals, so I hope that we will be able to reach a decision today so that we can move on with the negotiations on the pact."

European Commissioner for Promoting our European Way of Life (the precise job title – ed.) Margaritis Schinas (Greece) meanwhile said that said that the agreement that "We are now nearing the big agreement that Europe needs, after many years of failures."

"We are very encouraged by the progress made, and we hope that the ministers will agree today on one of the most important remaining aspects of the overall reform – the crisis regulation," he went on.

Consultations will thus continue over the next few days ahead of final negotiations to be held at the European Parliament.

The aim is for these to be squared away ahead of next June's European elections, AK reported – if this does not happen, the work will likely have to start from scratch again.

In a separate but related development, Greece and Turkey, also countries heavily affected by large-scale migration in recent years, on Thursday hammered out a mini-pact between themselves.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Aleksander Krjukov

Source: 'Aktuaalne kaamera.' reporter Joosep Värk.

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