The processing of asylum applications on the EU external borders is central to the Commission’s new Pact on Asylum and Migration. According to the Commission, the proposal is to deliver “clear, fair and faster” border procedures. We argue in this policy paper that attaining all three objectives is unrealistic. While the Pact prioritises clarity and speed, it risks impeding fundamental rights and therefore lacks in fairness. To address this imbalance, the paper makes three recommendations to policy-makers: focus on who should be exempted from border procedures, match faster procedures with accountability, and make fairness the procedure’s prime parameter.