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(25 September 2020) - The European Commission proposed to member states on 23 September to share responsibility for asylum seekers under a “mandatory solidarity” mechanism.

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The key point of the EU’s New Pact on Migration and Asylum is that member states would have to either accept asylum seekers, take charge of sending back those who are refused asylum, or offer financial assistance on the ground to front line EU states.

The new proposal, according to the Commission, is meant to “strike a new balance between responsibility and solidarity” and make solidarity with EU front line states – especially Greece, Italy or Malta – compulsory when they are “under pressure” from arrivals.

It is also meant to pacify Eastern European countries, who have persistently refused to accept asylum seekers and in the weeks preceding the announcement reiterated their opposition to mandatory relocation.

The proposal includes a new compulsory pre-entry screening involving health, identity and security checks as well as a faster asylum border process involving swift returns for rejected asylum seekers, within eight months. (EurActiv)

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