Written answers

Thursday, 15 February 2024

Department of Justice and Equality

Departmental Policies

Photo of Pa DalyPa Daly (Kerry, Sinn Fein)
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278. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality further to her own remarks on the matter (details supplied), what opt in procedure the Government will adopt with respect to the New Pact on Migration and Asylum of the EU; and, in particular, whether the opt in will be exercised under article 3 or article 4 of Protocol 21 annexed to the Treaty of Lisbon. [7154/24]

Photo of Helen McEnteeHelen McEntee (Meath East, Fine Gael)
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As the Deputy will be aware, the overall objectives of the Asylum and Migration Pact include creating a fair, sustainable and efficient asylum procedures in ordinary times as well as in times of migratory pressure and crisis situations, ensuring a fair sharing of responsibility, developing robust management of external borders and providing stronger governance of asylum and migration policies.

The challenges presented by irregular migration cannot be effectively addressed by any state acting alone in an increasingly globalised and interdependent world. Recognising this, the Member States of the EU have now reached a political agreement with the Parliament and the Commission on all of the measures proposed for a new Asylum and Migration Pact, which will pave the way for the adoption of these measures in the coming months. This represents an important further evolution of the Common European Asylum Policy.

In relation to Ireland’s opt-in, under Article 3 of Protocol 21 attached to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, the State can choose to opt-in to a measure in the area of asylum and migration within three months of publication by the European Commission. This timeframe starts from the date the last language version of the measure is published. In the case of the Pact measures, the three month timeframe for opting-in under Article 3 expired in January and February 2021 for those measures published in 2020. With regards to the measures published in 2016 the three month time frame expired in 2016.

Alternatively, the State can opt-in to these measures at any time after they have been adopted under Article 4 of Protocol 21. As the State did not opt-in to any of the Pact measures under Article 3, Ireland is now entitled to opt-in under Article 4 once the measures have been formally adopted. This is expected to occur in the near future. No time limit applies in respect of an opt-in under Article 4.

While Ireland has not yet opted-into most of the Pact measures, with the exception of the European Union Asylum Agency Regulation, other Member States will be bound by them two years after they are adopted. Member States are beginning to prepare their transposing legislation and operational systems for the Pact to go live in 2026. In order for Ireland to effectively align its law and systems with other Member State, and to implement a more cohesive migration system provided by the Pact, I intend to bring a Memorandum to cabinet concerning an opt in to the Pact under Article 4.


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