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“EU Makes Impressive Strides in Asylum Reform: Much Work Ahead for Ratification!

The European Union has reached a landmark agreement on asylum reform, but the deal faces a key challenge of ratification. This agreement, announced on Friday, is the latest step in a long-term effort to bring unity to the bloc and will provide a new framework for the relocation of refugees. Under the agreement, EU members will have streamlined policies for asylum-seekers. EU interior and justice ministers have agreed to a common set of standards that will apply in each member state when assessing applications for international protection. This will include a new European Asylum Support Office that will coordinate member states’ efforts to process claims and offer support. The agreement also sets out rules for relocation of asylum seekers, which will take the form of temporary protection or relocation of arrivals from “hot spots.” This could be a vital step in helping alleviate the burden on frontline countries in the Mediterranean evacuating and processing those who cross into Europe. However, this deal still requires approval from the European Parliament in order to become law, and this approval is not guaranteed. Some MEPs have already raised objections, citing concerns over increased powers for the European Commission. Furthermore, divisions between member states remain over the agreement, with arguments over the speed of implementation and the overall fairness of the regime. While far from perfect, this agreement provides a framework to go forward and address the huge challenges posed by Europe’s refugee crisis. The agreement may still face some hiccups along the way, but if it can be ratified, it may take us one step closer to a more unified approach to protecting refugees and asylum-seekers.

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