EU agrees new rules on hosting migrants, seeks to cut numbers

The European Union reached an agreement early on Wednesday on new regulations meant to more equitably distribute the expense and effort of hosting refugees while also limiting the number of people who come in.

Representatives of the European Parliament and EU states struck an agreement following all-night deliberations on EU regulations known as the New Pact on Migration and Asylum, which is set to take effect next year.

The laws cover screening irregular migrants when they arrive in the European Union, procedures for handling asylum applications, rules on determining which EU country is responsible for handling applications and ways to handle crises.

Migrant arrivals in the European Union are way down from the 2015 peak of more than 1 million, but have steadily crept up from a 2020 low to 255,000 in the year to November, with more than half crossing the Mediterranean from Africa to Italy or Malta.

Previous efforts to share out the responsibility of hosting migrants have foundered because eastern EU members in particular were unwilling to take in people who had arrived in Greece, Italy and other countries.

Under the new system, countries not at the border will have a choice between accepting refugees or paying into an EU fund.

The screening system envisaged will seek to distinguish between those in need of international protection and others who are not.

People whose asylum applications have a low chance of success, such as those from India, Tunisia or Turkey, can be prevented from entering the EU and detained at the border, as can people seen as representing a threat to security.

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Sydney Okafor

I am so passionate about this my profession as a broadcast journalist and voiceover artists and presently a reporter at TV360 Nigeria

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