The European Commission today presented proposals for reforming the EU's system of asylum rules. Commenting on the proposed reforms, Green asylum spokesperson Jean Lambert said:
"Despite the widespread acknowledgement that the EU's Dublin system of asylum rules is not fit for the task, the Commission has reinforced the current failing system. The country where an asylum seeker first enters the EU will remain responsible for the examination of a claim - bad news for Greece and Italy. All member states will now have to check the admissibility of a claim based on which countries an asylum seeker has travelled through to reach the EU; this raises serious questions about the respect for fundamental rights and the right to asylum. Anyone choosing to move on to another EU country of their own accord will be penalised, with proposals to withdraw all reception conditions and apply faster procedures. This is a serious downgrade of current EU standards.
"Ignoring recent case law of the European Court of Justice, unaccompanied minors will be transferred back to their first country of entry. Recognised refugees who move to member states following recognition will also be transferred back
"The current EU asylum system is broken and does not work, either for EU member states or those caught up in the asylum process. Instead of proposing a new system, based on solidarity and responsibility-sharing between countries and which works for refugees, the Commission has fudged the reform. With no trust in the current system, there is a need to take much greater account of asylum seekers' preferences and existing ties, which the Commission's proposal does not do. Asylum seekers will continue to take dangerous routes and use people smugglers to avoid this broken system.
"The Commission should be upholding the EU Treaties and not pandering to the prejudices of some national governments. The European Parliament now has a major responsibility to transform this proposal into something that shows solidarity for asylum seekers and between EU member states."
See the Green paper on an alternative to the current Dublin asylum system: http://www.greens-efa.eu/the-green-alternative-to-the-dublin-system-15220.html