Long-overdue EU Pact will ensure firm, fair and efficient migration in Ireland – MEP Walsh

The EU Migration Pact, due to be passed in the European Parliament today, will bring about landmark changes for the Irish migration system, MEP Maria Walsh has said. 

The EU Pact on Migration and Asylum will reduce the number of asylum applications Ireland has to process, decrease the time people spend in State provided accommodation and make the return of those not entitled to protection much more efficient. 

The Irish Government is expected to accept the measures, with Minister for Justice Helen McEntee having received approval from Cabinet to opt-in to the Pact last week. 

Along with her Fine Gael colleagues, MEP Maria Walsh will vote in favour of the Pact during votes in the European Parliament today. MEP Walsh is one of only two Irish MEPs to sit on the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE), the Committee responsible for the Pact. 

MEP Maria Walsh said: 

“The EU has failed on migration to date. However, we cannot continue to discuss the failures of the past, while rejecting any and all proposals put forward. 

“Today marks the first ever comprehensive European plan to deal with migration in a firm, fair and efficient way. The EU has a common external border, and we need a common European migration policy.

“The Pact is all-encompassing and intertwined. Some Irish MEPs today will simply pick and choose certain elements, but the grown-up politicians in the room know that there is no Pact without all aspects of the Pact. 

“While the EU is finally ready to put a plan in place for migration, we have to ask; is Ireland? We have two years to implement the policies within the Pact. The actions taken over these next two years will be indicative for the future of how we manage migration in this country.

“The Irish Government must hire and train more border agents and Gardaí, update our technical infrastructure to ensure that we are equipped with the necessary migration technology, and finally, work on securing a key migration deal with the UK.”