EU Parliament approves controversial Asylum and Migration Pact amidst criticism

Critics remain vocal, expressing concerns over potential infringements on asylum rights, particularly regarding the collection of biometric data from minors.

Concept for facial recognition, biometric, security system or deepfake dangers.

The European Parliament approved the Asylum and Migration Pact, a controversial measure that included reforms to the EURODAC biometric database and biometric data collection from minors. Three and a half years in the making, the document aims to bolster border security and streamline asylum processes.

However, critics fear it may usher in repressive policies and expand biometric surveillance, particularly regarding minors, as it provides for the collection of biometric data from children as young as seven. Despite these concerns, proponents argue it aids family reunification efforts and combats document fraud.

The pact’s complexity has sparked debate over its effectiveness and ethics. While some view it as progress, others see it as a missed opportunity for a more compassionate system. The implications of biometrics and facial recognition technology are central to the discourse, which critics warn could grant excessive control over migrants’ movements.

Why does it matter? 

The legal move comes after years of intense debate among conservative and liberal lawmakers and between northern and southern EU member states, with allegations over loyalty to Europe and dissent further complicating the voting process. As political tensions escalate amidst ongoing migrant detentions and deaths, exacerbated by global conflicts driving displacement, discussions on technological deployments at the EU borders in light of implementing the pact will persist.