Brussels optimistic migration pact will be approved during Portugal’s EU presidency

The commissioner also said that the EU executive "has invested a lot in crucial contacts on the issue of the immigration pact, to ensure that progress is made in the negotiations on this dossier". [EPA-EFE/JOHANNA GERON]

The European Commission is optimistic that the Pact for Migration and Asylum will be approved during the Portuguese presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) by the end of June, Commissioner Vice-President Margaritis Schinas has said.

“The Commission is in permanent contact with its partners, namely with the minister [of internal administration, Eduardo] Cabrita, the Portuguese presidency and the European Parliament, the European commissioner for the promotion of the European way of life said at a press conference on Wednesday (2 June).

“The Portuguese presidency, with our help, has done an excellent job on the asylum agencies proposal, the differences are narrowing, there is goodwill, and I hope that at the next council an agreement will be reached,” he said.

“I think there are grounds for optimism. We cannot afford to fail on an agreement on migration,” Schinas stressed.

The commissioner also said that the EU executive “has invested a lot in crucial contacts on the issue of the immigration pact, to ensure that progress is made in the negotiations on this dossier”.

In May, Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva said that the Portuguese presidency of the Council of the EU would fight “until the last minute of its term of office” for an agreement on the Pact for Migration and Asylum proposed by the European Commission in a debate in the European Parliament.

In September, the European Commission presented a long-awaited proposal for a new Pact for Migration and Asylum.

Still, although this is also a priority of the Portuguese presidency of the Council of the EU, major differences in migration policy between EU member states have not allowed much progress in the discussions.

[Edited by Josie Le Blond]

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