EU strikes major deal to reform migration policy after years of talks

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European Union countries and lawmakers reached an agreement on Wednesday to overhaul the bloc’s laws on handling asylum-seekers and migrants, euronews reported.

The reform includes speedier vetting of irregular arrivals, creating border detention centres, accelerated deportation for rejected asylum applicants and a solidarity mechanism to take pressure off southern countries experiencing big migrant inflows such as Greece, Italy and Spain.

These countries will now expect other EU states to contribute either by accepting migrants or paying into an EU fund, whose proceeds will be mostly directed to the “front-line” states to help them deal with migrant arrivals.

Following the announcement, European Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas said: “It’s been a long road to get here. But we made it. Europe is finally delivering on migration.”

The agreement comes after years of talks and debates on the EU’s migration policy.

The accord, known as the New Pact on Migration and Asylum, still needs to be formally approved by the European Council, representing the 27 EU member countries, and the European Parliament before it enters the bloc’s lawbooks.

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