New Pact, wrong impact: simulation shows EU Migration Pact won’t work

A new EuroMed Rights simulation looks at the impact of the EU Pact on Migration and Asylum on reception systems in countries of first arrival, using the example of Italy.

The simulation shows the Pact is harmful and unrealistic as available places in detention facilities should be multiplied by 50 in crisis times and 7.5 in non-crisis years. The simulation also explains why countries of first arrival will not benefit from the “solidarity” mechanism.

Justice and Home Affairs ministers of the European Union are meeting on November 13 to discuss the EU Pact on Asylum and Migration. EuroMed Rights has repeated times and again that this Pact would have a detrimental impact on the reception and treatment conditions of migrants and refugees.

This simulation focuses on the impact the EU Pact would have on a first country of arrival, Italy, should the current proposal be approved. Using real data, this analysis weighs the risks posed to the reception system, to the capacities of immigration detention facilities and to the duration of the asylum procedure and detention period.

According to the simulation, the Pact would trigger a massive increase in detention rates and further overcrowd the immigration detention facilities. The number of places in these facilities would need to be multiplied by 7.5 in normal years and by 50 in crisis years like 2016. This will lead to a further violation of fundamental rights. The simulation also shows the 12 weeks limit to treat asylum border procedures is unrealistic, in a country where the average duration for the procedure is currently two years. The Pact will only result in the prolonged, unjustified and massive use of detention in large, overcrowded reception centres. These will further undermine the integration of asylum seekers in the EU and have a severe effect on asylum seekers’ mental health.

Not only will this Pact increase the risk of human rights violations, but it will not result in real solidarity among Member States. In facts, according to the Commission’s proposal, countries of first arrival – as Spain, Italy, Malta, Greece and Cyprus – will still be responsible for asylum seekers who landed on their shores or showed up at their gates. Support from other Member States would not be meaningful, as they would likely choose return sponsorship or other forms of “solidarity” instead of relocation.

EuroMed Rights calls on Member States to reject the dangerous logic behind the Pact, which not only disadvantages them but also violates human rights, does not protect migrants and refugees’ rights and contributes to maintaining millions in detention.

EuroMed Rights will continue to advocate for a human rights-based approach to migration and asylum and an increase of legal pathways towards Europe and to promote an open movement area across the Mediterranean Region.

Read the full simulation in English: How the EU Migration Pact disadvantages both Italy and asylum seekers

Photo Credit: Sara Prestianni