11 policy problems on the EU’s fall agenda

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Coronavirus isn’t the only problem facing EU officials this fall.

After the global crisis put a lengthy hold on life in Brussels, the back-to-school season is a chance for the EU to regain momentum — in some cases because it has to. There are several policy files on which the bloc needs to make progress this year, even as many officials and diplomats continue to work virtually.

Here’s POLITICO’s guide to 11 files set to dominate the remainder of 2020.

1. Reforming migration 

A long-awaited Commission proposal for migration reform is expected to be presented at the end of September after repeated delays. Asylum regulation is one of the most sensitive issues in European politics, putting the EU under severe strain since 2015, and the subject no less delicate now.

Diplomats say the new proposal will tackle all the most problematic aspects, including some sort of redistribution mechanism for asylum seekers; a stronger procedure at the borders to assess asylum requests; and the responsibility of countries for asylum claims.

Migrants wait to take tea for free at the makeshift camp next to the refugee camp of Moria, Lesbos | AFP via Getty Images

Currently the most frequently applied criterion is irregular entry, which means the country through which the asylum seeker first entered the EU is responsible for examining the asylum claim. But coastline countries in the south say that puts an unfair burden on them.

Southern countries say that Eastern countries should show solidarity.

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