The European Commission unveiled a new migration and asylum pact on Wednesday, proposing a more flexible mechanism of solidarity among member states and making it possible for those member states that do not want to take in asylum seekers to commit to sending back illegal migrants.
The new solidarity mechanism is expected to ensure fairer access to the asylum system, which should reflect different challenges arising from the different geographical positions of the member states and ensure that everyone contributes through solidarity by sharing the burden of acceptance of irregular arrivals across the EU.
The European Union has been trying for years to change its asylum policy after a large influx of migrants in 2015 and 2016.
An earlier Commission proposal to reform the Dublin Regulation did not pass because some member states opposed binding quotas for refugees distribution. The Commission proposed a mechanism for automatic distribution of asylum seekers across members states in the event of a sudden surge in the number of refugees on the EU's external borders.
The aim of that proposal was to ease the burden faced by southern member states Italy and Greece, the first points of entry for refugees. The proposal met with fierce opposition from some member states, notably Poland, Hungary and Slovakia.
Under the new proposal, member states that refuse to accept asylum seekers will be able to share the burden by committing to sending back illegal migrants to countries where they came from.