EU plans to change asylum system

EU needs sustainable asylum system for future, European Commission's First Vice-President Frans Timmermans says

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A Pakistani refugee climbs a utility pole during a demonstration inside the Moria registration centre on the Greek island of Lesbos, April 6, 2016.

The European Union's executive issued a proposal on Wednesday to change the current asylum system which has contributed to the chaotic arrival of over a million refugees last year that has strained the cohesion of the bloc.

"The current system is not sustainable," the European Commission's First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said in presenting the proposal.

"We need a sustainable system for the future, based on common rules, a fairer sharing of responsibility, and safe legal channels for those who need protection to get it in the EU."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel suggested in October last year that "the Dublin process, in its current form" may have become "obsolete."

Moreover, the EU migration commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said in December that "Dublin was not designed as a solidarity instrument for ensuring an equitable responsibility sharing among member states," adding that the current uneven distribution is unsustainable.

According to a European Union law known as the Dublin Resolution EU member states must examine applications by asylum seekers requesting international protection. Under the Dublin Resolution refugees are meant to claim asylum in the first EU state they enter.

Refugees wearing life jackets wait for a dinghy to sail off for the Greek island of Lesbos from the Turkish coastal town of Dikili, Turkey, April 6, 2016.

As this has placed an unworkable burden on frontline states such as Greece and Italy, the EU Commission has sought to change the rules.

One option being discussed is the creation of a "corrective fairness mechanism" that would relocate asylum seekers from frontline states to elsewhere in the bloc - a method now being employed on an ad hoc basis. A second is a new system that would ignore where people arrived in the EU and send them around the bloc according to a "permanent distribution key."

The Commision also aims to harmonise asylum laws throughout the EU to take away the incentive for refugees to travel to states with more generous systems such as Sweden and Germany.



TRTWorld, Reuters