Migration Reform to be Decided by Qualified Majority, says European Commission President
The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has announced that migration reform within the European Union (EU) will be carried out through a "qualified majority." This statement comes in response to opposition from Hungary and Poland regarding new EU rules on the reception and relocation of asylum seekers.
Von der Leyen made these remarks during her visit to Madrid, emphasizing that the treaties dictate the use of qualified majority voting. She stated, "That's what the treaties say and that's what we have delivered on," as reported by EuroNews.
The European Commission had previously proposed a plan to assist member states in managing the influx of new arrivals, offering three options: accepting a specific number of asylum seekers, paying a fee per migrant, or providing financial support for operational needs such as transportation and infrastructure.
However, the proposal faced opposition from some EU countries. Hungary and Poland argued that any further steps regarding migration reform should be taken by consensus and on a voluntary basis. In response, Von der Leyen rejected their request, citing the voting rules outlined in the EU's founding treaties.
The President highlighted the progress made in the migration and asylum pact, stating, "The first important parts have been decided like the (EU) treaty wants us to do, in qualified majority voting, and that goes all for the other packages," as stated by the European Commission.
Von der Leyen emphasized that the EU was at a critical juncture and expressed optimism about the prospects of migration reform. She stated, "We want to move forward together."
The proposal on the reception and relocation of asylum seekers has generated controversy among EU member states. While Poland and Hungary rejected the idea, Italy, Austria, and the Netherlands considered it insufficient. Additionally, countries such as Malta, Slovakia, Bulgaria, and Lithuania abstained from taking a stance.
Despite attempts to offer flexibility in the solidarity mechanism, Lithuania's Deputy Minister of the Interior, Arnoldas Abramavičius, expressed disagreement with certain provisions outlined by the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the EU.
After hours of negotiations, an agreement was eventually reached on the matter. However, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock acknowledged that reaching a compromise had not been an easy task.
EU authorities continue to grapple with managing the influx of arrivals. According to statistics from the EU Border and Coast Guard Agency, Frontex, there has been a 30% surge in the number of unlawful attempts to reach EU member states from January to April this year, with approximately 80,700 such attempts recorded.
By fLEXI tEAM