ENS Publishes Analysis and Recommendations for Implementation of the EU Pact on Migration and Asylum


We’ve developed new analysis and recommendations on implementation of new EU Migration & Asylum Pact provisions concerning the identification and protection of displaced stateless people.

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Adoption of the Pact – amongst myriad protection gaps, a foothold for progress?

After nearly four years of debate and negotiations, a total of 10 legislative acts were adopted under the EU Migration & Asylum Pact which ‘reform the entire European framework for asylum and migration management’. Member States will now have two years to put the new laws into practice. The European Commission is in the process of developing a common implementation plan to assist Member States in this process.

Whilst the final Pact as adopted undoubtedly raises significant concerns about the EU’s approach to migration and asylum more broadly, it contains welcome provisions that offer an important foothold to help improve the identification and protection of stateless refugees and migrants in EU asylum systems. This opportunity must now be seized alongside wider efforts to mitigate and address the alarming myriad protection gaps in the overall Pact package, which have rightly been condemned by a broad spectrum of civil society and other experts.

Getting statelessness reforms in the Pact – what new provisions have been included?

Statelessness was invisible in the original Pact proposals. In response to this omission, through our #StatelessJourneys campaign we engaged extensively with representatives from the European Parliament, Council, and Commission throughout the negotiations in order to address the Pact’s blind spot-on statelessness.

It is therefore welcome that the adopted Pact instruments for the first time introduce binding provisions in EU asylum acquis that clarify the international legal definition of a stateless person, require Member States to identify indications of statelessness, respect their international obligations towards stateless people, strengthen their protection and access to fundamental rights, and register where an asylum applicant claims to be stateless pending a determination.

Implementation and next steps

These new provisions now need to be implemented so that statelessness is effectively identified on the ground, and stateless people’s rights are respected in EU asylum systems. This will require us to work with our members and partners to ensure full and robust implementation of relevant Pact provisions, including to continue to develop and roll out tools that support systematic identification.

Download the Briefing

Work on Pact implementation will need to be accompanied by ongoing advocacy to ensure that all displaced stateless people can access comprehensive statelessness determination procedures (SDPs) that protect the full range of rights owed to them under international law. The briefing contains detailed recommendations for all relevant stakeholders who will be involved in implementing the Pact.

Our #StatelessJourneys campaign has reinforced our belief that by building alliances and engaging policymakers it is possible to secure positive reforms even in acutely difficult political contexts and multilateral negotiations. There have been many MEPs willing to champion reforms on statelessness, as well as a welcome push by the Spanish Presidency. In recent years we have also seen increasingly strong engagement on the issue by the EU Asylum Agency. Our campaign, co-designed with stateless changemakers from within our network, has powerfully demonstrated the value of centring people with lived experience.

To get a full analysis of the progress made through our #StatelessJourneys campaign, watch the recording of our latest Webinar: “#StatelessJourneys - What’s next for work to protect the rights of stateless refugees in Europe?

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