Parliament position on asylum reforms defies common sense
Attempts to simplify asylum procedures and combat abuse across the system will have the opposite effect, warned ECR Finnish MEP Jussi Halla Aho following a vote in the European Parliament today.
The initial proposals from the European Commission were intended to increase speed and efficiency in processing asylum applications, as well as establish a common procedure for Member States granting and withdrawing international protection. Another of the key aims was to de-incentivise asylum shopping and secondary movement of asylum seekers between Member States.
However, the position adopted by parliament’s civil liberties committee waters down a number of these key measures, such as turning mandatory preliminary checks into voluntary ones, deleting the notion of safe country of transit and exempting Minors completely from EU border procedures. This weakens the very measures that aim at ending abuse of the asylum system.
Speaking after the vote, Halla-Aho said:
“It is disappointing that on a proposal that was intended to simplify asylum procedures and combat abuse across asylum systems, the Parliament has adopted a position that would have the complete opposite effect and defies common sense.
“Our priority must be to put in place consistent and clear rules in order to help the most vulnerable and genuine asylum seekers and to be able to return illegal migrants to their home country as quickly and efficiently as possible. If we do not, Brussels will be unable to reinstate public confidence in our asylum systems.
“Hopefully some sense comes from negotiations with the other EU institutions so that we put in place a system which is capable of prioritising genuine asylum seekers.”