Renew Europe welcomes that the Committee of Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) today endorsed an updated negotiating mandate on the Eurodac Regulation, the EU's fingerprint database for asylum seekers. With tonight's vote, the European Parliament and Council are finally ready to start inter-institutional negotiations, so-called trilogues, on the much needed reform of the current regulation.
Hilde Vautmans (Open VLD, Belgium), Member of the LIBE Committee and Renew Europe's negotiator on the Eurodac regulation, declared:
"I very much welcome today's endorsement. Eurodac is an important part of the Migration Pact, and it is good that we can now move forward. I am particularly pleased that, on the initiative of Renew Europe, the updated mandate recognises the important role of Eurodac in assisting with the protection of child victims of trafficking in human beings and the identification and protection of missing children. We also succeeded in securing strong additional safeguards for children, especially regarding the verification of their age by introducing the benefit of the doubt, a strict limitation to use the data of minors under the age of 14 only for law enforcement purposes, as well as a prohibition of detention of minors to verify their identity or take their biometric data."
This adoption is part of a Joint Roadmap agreed between the European Parliament and the Council, an initiative of Renew Europe MEPs Sophie in 't Veld and Fabienne Keller to undo the blockage of the inter-institutional negotiations on the Common European Asylum System and the Pact on Migration and Asylum.
Today's vote will not only open the way for trilogues on the Eurodac regulation, but also for final "handshake" trilogues on the Reception Conditions Directive, the Qualification Regulation and the Resettlement Framework Regulation. All these trilogues could still take place this week in Strasbourg, representing a major breakthrough and a crucial step in building trust between the institutions on this important policy area. Renew Europe welcomes the new momentum that will hopefully allow for the adoption of the integral Migration and Asylum package before the end of this mandate.
Fabienne Keller (L'Europe Ensemble, France), Member of the LIBE
Committee, rapporteur of the Asylum procedures regulation and shadow rapporteur on the Asylum and migration management regulation, reacted:
"This is a historical moment. Progress in legislative files that would bring long-term sustainable solutions to unexpected future crises, such as the impacts of the war against Ukraine, has been blocked for far too long. Thanks to the hard work of Renew Europe, things are finally moving after years of stalling."