There may be changes in the schedule. Although there are discussions on strengthening the migration chapter of the agreement, Hungary rejected the negotiating mandate presented at the meeting of European foreign ministers on 22 May. At the second meeting on 24 May, no changes were made, as “several member states were opposed to the compromise text that would have lifted Hungary`s opposition,” an EU source told EURACTIV. The Delegation of Hungary did not take a position on this matter. Differences between member states on migration in the future partnership agreement could delay the start of negotiations, originally scheduled for 1 June. The ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly is an advisory body composed equally of representatives of the EU and ACP countries. The Assembly encourages democratic processes and allows for better understanding between the peoples of the EU and those of the ACP countries. The negotiators therefore agreed on the need to adopt a framework agreement that defines the general principles of the partnership, but will be divided into three regional pillars (Africa, Caribbean and Pacific), taking into account the priority areas of cooperation for each of the above-mentioned regions. While both the EU and the ACP countries have managed to circumvent the migration blockade in the pre-negotiation mandate, there is no guarantee that a similar result will be achieved in the final negotiations. Hungary is not the only country to have advanced its skepticism about the migration chapter, Poland is also concerned and Italy is engaged in an ongoing saga with humanitarian NGOs “illegally” on its shores. The most desired result for these countries is that irregular migrants are systematically returned to their country of origin.
That is why there will certainly be attempts to put the readmission mechanisms back at the centre of the concerns in the final Cotonou Agreement. . . .