Building Knowledge for a Concerted and Sustainable Approach to Refugee Resettlement in the EU and its Member States

European Pact on Immigration and Asylum (13440/08)

European Council


The European Pact on Immigration and Asylum (13440/08).


General themes

In the spirit of mutual responsibility and solidarity between Member States and of partnership with third countries, and in the light of the Commission's communication of 17 June 2008, the European Council adopts the European Pact on Immigration and Asylum. Aware that full implementation of the Pact is likely in certain areas to require changes to the legal framework, and in particular to the treaty bases, the European Council makes five basic commitments, which will continue to be transposed into concrete measures, in particular in the programme to follow on from the Hague programme in 2010:

  • to organise legal immigration to take account of the priorities, needs and reception capacities determined by each Member State, and to encourage integration;
  • to control illegal immigration by ensuring that illegal immigrants return to their countries of origin or to a country of transit;
  • to make border controls more effective;
  • to construct a Europe of asylum;
  • to create a comprehensive partnership with the countries of origin and of transit in order to encourage the synergy between migration and development.


The European Pact on Immigration and Asylum states that, among the new initiatives to be taken to complete the establishment of a Common European Asylum System, cooperation with the UNHCR should be strengthened to ensure better protection for people outside the territory of the EU who request protection, in particular by "moving, on a voluntary basis, towards the resettlement within the European Union of people placed under the protection of the Office of the (UNHCR)".

Files attached to this content:

European Pact on Immigration and Asylum (13440/08)