European Parliament approves contentious migration pact

The European Parliament approved the migration pact on Wednesday. The package of 10 laws strengthens the control of migrants' arrival in the EU and introduces a solidarity system between member states for the reception of asylum seekers.

The legislation introduces a mandatory solidarity system for member states under pressure from migration. All member states will have to assume a share of the responsibility for managing asylum applications, by accepting asylum seekers on their territory, by making a financial contribution or by providing operational and technical support.

The text also sets out new criteria for determining which member state is responsible for examining applications for international protection, replacing the Dublin Regulation from 2013.

A controversial part of the package is the creation of border facilities to receive asylum seekers, examine their claims and quickly return those who do not qualify for protection to their country of origin. Many NGOs fear this will lead to more human suffering.

That the pact has many opponents was demonstrated by the appearance of protesters who briefly disrupted the vote. Activists threw paper airplanes at MEPs, shouting "this plan kills, vote no". After the results were announced, the Left group in the European Parliament wrote on X that it was "a dark day for human rights".

Von der Leyen thanks Belgium

In a press conference after the vote, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said the migration and asylum pact would make a "real difference" for Europeans, striking a balance between more secure borders and respect for fundamental rights.

Von der Leyen also thanked Belgian prime minister Alexander De Croo and the Belgian EU presidency "for getting us over the finishing line".

"Migration is a complex phenomenon for which there is no magic solution. But this pact provides member states with the tools to better control and manage the flows of migration," De Croo said. "It is a first step, but a very important first step."

"This pact provides member states with the tools to better control and manage the flows of migration"

Parliament's approval doesn't mean the pact is guaranteed to come into force. European member states must still formally give their approval by a qualified majority. This vote is expected to take place at the end of April.


Related news

Website preview
EU presidency: Belgium concludes negotiations on migration pact
On Thursday afternoon, the 27 member states agreed on the ten laws that form part of the new migration pact proposed by the Commission in...
Website preview
EU presidency: Belgian PM calls for new migration pact
Belgian prime minister Alexander De Croo wants to conclude a new European migration pact during Belgium's EU presidency in the first half of 2024...

Get updates in your mailbox

By clicking "Subscribe" I confirm I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy.


Belga News Agency delivers dependable, rapid and high-quality information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from Belgium and abroad to all Belgian media. The information covers all sectors, from politics, economics and finance to social affairs, sports and culture, not to mention entertainment and lifestyle.

Every day, our journalists and press photographers produce hundreds of photos and news stories, dozens of online information items, plus audio and video bulletins, all in both national languages. Since the end of March 2022 English has been added as a language.

For public institutions, businesses and various organisations that need reliable information, Belga News Agency also offers a comprehensive range of corporate services to meet all their communication needs.


Arduinkaai 29 1000 Brussels