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EU Migration and Homeaffairs

State of the European Union: Our HOME agenda

In her State of the Union address on 13 September, President Ursula von der Leyen raised several key points concerning EU Home Affairs and Migration.

Solidarity with Ukraine and extension of temporary protection

The European Commission President underscored the EU’s unwavering solidarity towards Ukraine. The EU has ensured access to housing, healthcare, education, and the job market for Ukrainians fleeing war. She also announced the extension of the temporary protection of Ukrainians in the EU:

“Since the start of the war, four million Ukrainians have found refuge in our Union. And I want to say to them that they are as welcome now as they were in those fateful first weeks. We have ensured that they have access to housing, healthcare, the job market and much more. I am proud to announce that the Commission will propose to extend our temporary protection to Ukrainians in the EU. Our support to Ukraine will endure.”

Legal migration and the Pact on Migration and Asylum

Speaking of labour shortages in the EU, the President advocated for the need to have qualified migration:

“Because labour shortages hamper the capacity for innovation, growth and prosperity. So, we need to improve access to the labour market. Most importantly for young people, for women. And we need qualified migration.”

On migration management, the President von der Leyen insisted on the historic opportunity to finalise the agreement on the new Pact. Although numerous successful actions have already resulted from it, from border protection and partnerships against irregular migration to renewed asylum policies and legal pathways for migrants, the final adoption of the new Pact remains a priority:

“Our work on migration is based on the conviction that unity is within our reach. An agreement on the pact has never been so close. Parliament and the Council have a historic opportunity to get it over the line. Let us show that Europe can manage migration effectively and with compassion. Let’s get this done!”

Enlargement of the Schengen area

President von der Leyen also emphasised that Bulgaria and Romania should be integrated into the Schengen area:

“Allow me to thank in particular Bulgaria and Romania for leading the way – showcasing best practices on both asylum and returns. They have proved it: Bulgaria and Romania are part of our Schengen area. So let us finally bring them in – without any further delay.”



Main upcoming priorities include:

  • Extension of temporary protection for people fleeing the war in Ukraine.
  • Action plan on anti-drug trafficking.
  • Update the legal framework and strengthen cooperation to fight the smuggling of migrants.

For more information:

State of the Union Address by President von der Leyen

State of the Union: promises kept

SOTEU 2023 Letter of Intent

Link:, dated September 20, 2023 9:48 am

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