The European Commission today presented a proposal for how asylum applications should be handled by EU member states, including a mechanism for the distribution of asylum applications among EU member states. Commenting on the proposals, Green migration spokesperson Bodil Ceballos said:
“It is welcome that the Commission is trying to corral EU governments into accepting their collective responsibility for refugees entering Europe. While a distribution system for handling asylum applications would be one element of this, it is in itself no panacea for a holistic and comprehensive asylum policy. On top of this, today's proposal is riddled with loopholes and lacks crucial elements, which would limit its application.
"For starters, the distribution mechanism for asylum applications would not be binding, would only apply in emergency situations and would not include all member states (with the UK, Ireland and Denmark opting out). It is also clear that a number of EU governments are opposed to this approach, so it remains to be seen what happens to these modest proposals.
"A comprehensive and holistic approach to asylum would not only include a fair and binding system for distributing the responsibility among EU member states for handling applications, but also improvement of the reception systems in member states in order to guarantee the asylum seeker a coherent review of their application no matter where in the EU they chose to lodge their application. On top of this, we need to finally reform the EU's dysfunctional asylum policy: the Dublin regulation is not fit for purpose and needs urgent overhaul. The EU has a moral duty to do more to address the asylum crisis and this implies ensuring more opportunities for legal access and greater commitment on combating the underlying reasons why refugees flee their country of origin. The EU has to stop seeing those coming here as a threat.”
A Greens/EFA paper outlining how the EU's asylum system should be reformed can be found at: http://www.greens-efa.eu/green-proposals-for-a-european-migration-and-asylum-strategy-13919.html