The EU definitively adopts a migration pact, with consequences for Switzerland –

The EU definitively adopts a migration pact, with consequences for Switzerland –
The EU definitively adopts a migration pact, with consequences for Switzerland –

The member states of the European Union gave their final green light to the pact on migration and asylum on Tuesday, with Switzerland also being concerned. The Confederation is in fact legally required to apply the points which concern the development of the Schengen and Dublin acquis.

Less than a month before the European elections for which polls predict a surge in anti-immigration parties, this set of around ten pieces of legislation, fiercely negotiated for years, was formally adopted by the Council of the EU (representing Member States). Parliament gave its approval in April.

>> Read again on this subject: European Parliament adopts migration policy reform

This vast reform, which will only apply from 2026 onwards, must tighten immigration control in the European Union (see box). The pact will be binding on all EU countries, under penalty of infringement procedures. But the details of the practical implementation of this complex reform remain to be clarified.

The EU is facing an increase in asylum applications: they reached 1.14 million in 2023, their highest level since 2016, according to the European Asylum Agency. “Irregular” entries into the EU are also increasing, to 380,000 in 2023, according to Frontex.

Alongside this reform, the EU is increasing the number of controversial agreements with the countries of origin and transit of exiles (TunisiaMauritania, Egypt) to try to reduce the number of arrivals at its borders.

Five binding acts for Switzerland

Five of the ten new legislative acts adopted are binding – at least in part – for Switzerland, the Federal Department of Justice and Police (FDJP) indicated at the end of April. These include new rules for the Dublin procedure, a normative framework for crisis situations and changes to the regulation concerning the common Eurodac database.

Switzerland has two years to adopt these provisions. However, the implementation of the pact will not require a complete upheaval of Swiss procedures, Federal Councilor Beat Jans then clarified. The Basel resident judged that this pact constitutes “progress”, even if it is not perfect.

The new solidarity mechanism, which provides for relocations or the payment of financial contributions to states experiencing strong migratory pressure, is not binding on Switzerland. She can nevertheless decide to join in.

Switzerland is also not bound by the new procedures at the external borders of the Schengen area.

>> On the subject, listen to the interview with Etienne Piguet in Forum:

Agreement on European migration policy: what impact will it have on Switzerland? Interview with Etienne Piguet / Forum / 5 min. / December 20, 2023

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