19 October 2017
New plans to tackle the migration crisis will have the opposite effect and risk more refugees falling into the hands of people smugglers, ECR MEPs believe
New plans to tackle the migration crisis will have the opposite effect and risk more refugees falling into the hands of people smugglers, ECR MEPs believe.
The European Parliament’s Home Affairs Committee today approved proposals which would see refugees submit their application for asylum in a country assigned by the EU according to a quota system, rather than the first country they reach, as at present. The country refugees were allocated to would be determined by any existing connections. If they have none they would be given a choice of the four countries furthest away from meeting their quota.
The introduction of quotas and imposing them on Member States is a effectively Europeanising the asylum systems; resulting in countries being forced to accept refugees against their will.
This abandonment of the so-called Dublin regulation is likely to be opposed by eastern European countries in particular, which resist any attempt by Brussels to force them to accept refugee quotas. The new rules, therefore, risk damaging further the political will of Member States to show solidarity in the face of the continuing crisis.
Instead ECR MEPs argue that the existing system should be implemented more effectively, with quicker processing of asylum applications, the speedier return of failed asylum seekers and economic migrants and a greater emphasis on supporting refugees closer to their home countries to dissuade them from risking dangerous sea crossings. Member States should continue to take successful asylum seekers on a voluntary basis.
ECR shadow rapporteur Daniel Dalton MEP said: “Today’s vote wastes precious time by proposing a solution that will not work and is unlikely to ever be implemented. The migrant crisis cannot be solved by abandoning the tried and tested Dublin regulation and internationally acknowledged asylum principles.
“By allowing asylum seekers a choice of country and by processing their claims across the EU rather than the first EU country reached, we are encouraging more migrants to make the dangerous journey to Europe. What we should be doing is focusing on getting the basics right, and making the system we already have work better. This includes providing additional resources and training at frontline Member States to speed up asylum claims, prioritising the expedient return of failed asylum seekers to their country of origin and providing support to non EU countries near conflict regions who provide shelter for asylum seekers and refugees.”
The proposals are unclear on how asylum seekers would be transported to Member States and remove any consequences for migrants who abscond while being processed.
Mr. Dalton added: “Transferring asylum seekers to other countries creates an extra burden on them and could give them false hope that their claim will be accepted. This transfer only increases the chances of migrants absconding or them falling outside of the system.
“The EU must reinforce the Dublin principle so that the country of entry properly processes asylum seekers claim and swiftly removes economic migrants.”
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