EU to tighten asylum system in sweeping migration reform

EU member states and the EU Parliament have agreed to significantly stricter asylum procedures in a major reform of the European asylum system.

The painstakingly negotiated compromise announced on Wednesday provides for numerous additions and tightening of the existing rules to reduce irregular migration to the European Union.

“It’s been a long road to get here, but we made it. Europe is finally delivering on migration“, said European Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas on X, describing the deal as a “breakthrough.”

European Parliament President Roberta Metsola said Wednesday “will go down in history as the day the EU reached a landmark agreement on a new set of rules to manage migration and asylum.”

The reform has been the subject of intensive work since 2015, when record numbers of migrants arrived in the EU.

While countries with right-wing governments, like Hungary, were strongly in favour of tightening existing rules, aid organizations and Europe’s political left expressed concerns about the degradation of human rights.

The reform “will ensure that there is an effective European response to this European challenge,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

“It means that Europeans will decide who comes to the EU and who can stay, not the smugglers,” she added.

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