The European Union’s member states and its high-level institutions agreed to major migration reforms yesterday, the conclusion of a three-year debate finalized amid the continent’s highest migration levels since 2016. The New Pact on Migration and Asylum, which awaits formal ratification, comes six months before the next parliamentary elections (see how the EU works).
The pact reportedly streamlines deportation protocols and permits the use of detention centers at EU borders for migrants awaiting evaluation—key demands from some member states facing domestic calls to clamp down on migration. It also creates incentives for nonborder countries to receive an allocation of migrants to relieve border countries receiving the bulk of irregular entries. Many refugee rights groups condemned the reform, claiming it will exacerbate the dangers refugees face in seeking asylum.