The EU has developed a common migration policy laying down the conditions of entry and residence and determining rights and duties of migrants who enter and reside legally in a Member State for purposes of employment, study or family reunification. A common European asylum system should ensure the harmonisation of the national reception standards and grant people fleeing persecution or serious harm in their own country adequate protection across the Union.
EU’s migration and asylum policy is, however, currently being exposed to a stress test. In response to the migrant crisis, the EU has adopted a number of measures, such as resettlement and relocation schemes and establishment of ‘hotspots’ helping to reduce the pressure on the most affected Member States and to ensure effective return and readmission for those who do not qualify for international protection. It is now up to the Member States to implement the measures accordingly.
The passport-free movement within the Schengen area may come under threat without an effective management of EU’s external borders. To this end, the European Union is in the process of adopting a set of measures, such as upgrading the EU border agency FRONTEX, which is to become a European Border and Coast Guard, and introducing systematic checks at EU’s external borders. The information sharing and cooperation mechanism EUROSURis meant to assist Member States in countering cross-border crime, preventing unauthorised entry and diminishing the tragic death toll of migrants at sea.
The responsibility for further integration of immigrants into the host society lies with the particular country. The EU can only provide incentives and support for measures taken at the Member State level.