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The Crisis and Force Majeure Regulation: Towards future-proof crisis management and responses?

Alberto-Horst Neidhardt

Date: 13/06/2024

In recent years, the EU has been confronted with emergencies that have severely impacted the asylum and reception systems of member states. Following the adoption of the New Pact reforms, the Union now has a dedicated instrument for dealing with such situations. The newly adopted Crisis and Force Majeure Regulation (the 'Regulation') sets in place a procedure for determining if a member state faces an emergency and defines which response should be set into motion, including enhanced solidarity and derogations from the Asylum Procedures Regulation (APR).

Against this background, the policy study examines the added value and the challenges relating to the implementation of these measures. To this end, it explores key aspects of the crisis cycle, including the potential impact of the derogations, the authorising procedure as well as the monitoring and coordination mechanisms to be used in an emergency.

The study's overarching question is whether the EU will be better prepared for future crises after the adoption of the New Pact reforms. It highlights that the EU is potentially better off with a common framework, also considering the likelihood of volatile migration flows in the future. Nevertheless, this study points to the ambiguities and grey areas in the Regulation, underlining that the flexibility for facilitating EU responses could come at the cost of legal certainty. At the same time, the benefit of using the derogations remains unclear, while solutions to address the root causes of an emergency may lie outside the New Pact instruments or even migration policy. Considering this, the newly adopted rules do not suffice to future-proof EU crisis management.

To address possible challenges, this study includes forward-looking reflections that underline the need to make exit strategies part of the crisis response from the start. It also recommends using all foreseen measures – not just derogations – that can lead to an effective response on the ground while minimising the risks of rights violations and
negative spillover effects for the EU.

Read the full paper here.
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