Minutes of ENAR meeting about a new EU pact on Migration

On 13 October 2020, the Czech Helsinki Committee (CHC) attended ENAR members‘ meeting. The meeting aimed to provide short summary about the new EU Pact on Migration and short update about the open consultation of the EU action plan on integration/inclusion of migrants, which is open until the end of October.

ENAR representative talked briefly about the new EU pact on Migration and some of its negative and positive elements. One of the most alarming points in the pact is the question of pre-screening. There is a suggestion that people arriving at the borders of EU without a visa, will be pre-screened. (Registration, fingerprints, facial recognition, all the registration of their entry will happen as the first step on the border). Another concerning point is compulsory solidarity. Member states have to agree either to accept asylum seekers to be relocated from the countries where they are waiting for the decision or they have to support and pay the return of the migrants to their original countries.

Furthermore, there is a revamp of the Dublin regulation. Here the procedure remains the same (the first country person reaches to is responsible for registration and reception of the asylum demand) however, there is a possibility of relocation in other countries where the person has preview ties (for example, if the person studied in the specific country, or have a family member there etc.) Another important point, which should be mentioned, is the appointment of the new Coordinator for Return. The new coordinator will be appointed by the European Commission and he/she will be responsible for managing returns. He/she will be also responsible to work with Europol and Frontex about the questions of returns, what is happening at the borders etc. Then there is a question of pushbacks on the border to be monitored by the member states with in cooperation with FRA. The monitoring of pushback is not a negative thing, but rather positive thing, however, this should be done by the EC not by member states. Because it will be very difficult to see member states who are in the origin of pushbacks and violence to really say that they did something wrong.

 There is also a review of Employers Sanction Directive, which shows the same approach – to put people as much as possible outside of the EU. (meaning they will not only chase people who are in EU irregularly but they also going to push employers as a way to ensure that there are no irregular migrants that can access the labor market)  Another point is increased border control and harmonization of practices with Europol and law enforcement authorities. From anti-racist angle, it is not only the question of digitalization of border control and monitoring and how this data will be collected, but also the racialization of the algorithm.

On the other hand, some initiatives seem quite interesting. There will be EU Talent Partnerships (ICT/studies/traineeship) with certain countries. These countries will be sending people to improve their skills. Another thing is, community or private sponsorship comunitario, however it is not clear yet what kind of action this sponsorship could cover. Review Humanitarian Framework (to see if it is possible to have aligned implementation of the humanitarian questions in the EU) should be mentioned as well. Furthermore, there is the EU pool of talents, which is linked to the relaunch of the Blue Card (the aim is to have a platform where talents could express their interest to work in Europe).

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