“European migration and border management: Future reforms reassert symbolic solidarity”, Saila Heinikoski (FIIA, Finland)

In 2021, major symbolic changes are expected to be made to European migration and border policies, as Frontex standing corps is established in January and regulations for the New Pact on Migration and Asylum should be adopted by June.

The Migration Pact proposed by the Commission in September 2020 would obligate member states to help each other in the event of migratory pressure, disembarkations or situations of crisis. Despite “mandatory solidarity” in the New Pact, there is no common migration policy, but the recognition rates continue to vary from country to country.

Whereas common solutions to migration and asylum policy have not been found since 2015, countries were quick to adopt a Regulation on the European Border and Coast Guard 2019/1896, which stipulates the progressive deployment of Frontex’s own 10,000 European border guards from 2021 onwards. Both migration and border management reforms are symbolically important for European integration, but member states retain their sovereign competence to decide who can stay and who should return.

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