Five years on from the refugee ‘crisis’ of 2015 and the European Agenda on Migration, the EU is still lacking a common migration and asylum policy. The European Commission has now announced the release of the New Pact on Migration and Asylum for September 2020.
Although intended for earlier, COVID-19 has both delayed the New Pact and proved a game changer for migration and asylum policy.
As the European Commission prepares the New Pact, the case of Greece stands as an example of a front-line state adopting a hardened stance on migration and asylum policy. The effect of the pandemic has not been fully felt and COVID-19 will likely continue to have an impact on both migrants and states for some time to come. The New Pact must not only offer mandatory solidarity to frontline states but also rethink Europe’s approach to migration and asylum, while guaranteeing and prioritising access to territory and protection for those in need.