The Annual Report on Migration and Asylum provides an overview of the main developments and debates in Luxembourg in 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic strongly impacted migratory movements to and from Luxembourg. In 2020, there was a significant decrease in the number of residence permits, applications for temporary authorisation of stay and visas (short stay visas and D-visas), a reduction of around 50% on the number of applications for international protection and a decline in Dublin transfers and returns. Public health measures in response to the pandemic significantly impacted migration policies. For instance, Luxembourg temporarily closed its borders to third-country nationals and automatically regularized the stay of third-country nationals whose legal residence status ended during the state of crisis. Moreover, personal interviews with applicants of international protection (AIPs) and Dublin transfers were suspended. Lastly, irregular migrants were granted access to healthcare, free of charge, regardless of their social security coverage without being issued a return order or being placed in detention during the pandemic.
Outside of the COVID-19 context, the following developments can be highlighted:
- The introduction of Bill n°7682 foresees the extension of the time limit from three to six months available to beneficiaries of international protection (BIPs) to apply for family reunification after the granting of their status, as well as the simplification of administrative procedures, concerning the elimination of the requirement to provide integral copies of travel documents for family members of the third-country national applying for family reunification. At the procedural level, Bill n°7682 aims to amend the appeal procedure against a Dublin transfer decision to increase their effectiveness while guaranteeing maximum legal security for the applicant for international protection. It proposes to amend the Asylum Law by introducing “extraordinary” remedies against a final decision to close proceedings and against a decision to withdraw international protection.
- The Grand Ducal Regulation of 4 November 2020 entered into force, establishing the Commission on the evaluation of the best interest of unaccompanied minors in return decisions. However, this commission continues to generate debates and criticism, especially from fundamental rights organisations, regarding its composition.
- In view of the high occupancy rate in the ONA’s accommodation structures, efforts to promote the construction of new accommodation structures continued in 2020. A new emergency reception facility was set up for newcomers.
- Strengthening the fight against trafficking in human beings was another priority of the Luxembourgish government. As a result, the composition of the Monitoring Committee on the Fight Against the Trafficking in Human Beings was implemented by Grand Ducal Regulation. Other strategic developments were implemented, such as the elaboration of a second National Action Plan on Human Trafficking and an enhanced collaboration at the Benelux and EU level.
- In terms of integration, several major developments should be noted:
- The creation of a communication service within the Department of Integration
- The first interministerial committee on integration open to civil society took place on 16 December 2020
- The launch of a large consultation including all key actors on the future of integration policies
- The selection of several municipalities to take part in a pilot phase regarding a new approach to the Communal Plan on Integration (PCI)
- A discussion in Parliament on the issue of racism and discrimination, which resulted in the adoption of two motions and a resolution. One of the motions provided for a study on racism and ethno-racial discrimination and the resolution aims to strengthen the resources of the Centre for Equal Treatment (CET).
- The Minister of Education, Children and Youth is planning to set up a service specifically responsible for the integration and reception of children of foreign origin and to review the procedures for taking care of newly arrived pupils
For all the details, please consult the here attached report.