The European Union wants to significantly tighten asylum procedures
Since the refugee crisis of 2015/16, EU countries have been working on a far-reaching reform of the EU asylum system. After much debate, there is now a breakthrough in negotiations. However, it is not possible to celebrate yet.
DrAsylum procedures in the European Union are set to be significantly tightened in light of the problems of illegal immigration. At a meeting of interior ministers in Luxembourg on Thursday, a large enough majority of member states voted in favor of sweeping reform plans, the Swedish presidency announced. In particular, it provides for a much tougher approach to dealing with immigrants who have no prospects of survival.
In the future, people arriving from countries deemed safe must come to strictly controlled reception facilities under conditions similar to detention after border crossing. There, it is usually checked within twelve weeks whether the applicant has a chance of asylum. If not, it must be returned immediately.
In the negotiations, the federal government categorically advocated that families with children be exempt from the alleged border measures. In order to make the breakthrough possible, she finally had to accept that this was possible. However, Federal Home Minister Nancy Visser said at the meeting that the federal government will continue to work to ensure that all children’s rights are guaranteed.
It is also possible that the EU Parliament will push through the changes. It has a say in reform and will negotiate the project with representatives of European Union countries in the coming months.
More solidarity with burdened member states
In addition to the tightened asylum procedures, the plans scheduled for Thursday also provide more solidarity with overburdened member states at the EU’s external borders. In the future, it should not be voluntary, but mandatory. Countries that do not want to take in refugees will have to pay compensation. So countries like Hungary voted against the plan.
Countries like Italy, for example, can benefit from the duty to show solidarity. According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, more than 50,000 migrants have been registered as crossing the Mediterranean in Italy this year. Most of them came from Tunisia, Egypt and Bangladesh and therefore had no prospect of staying legally.
Ideally, the pending negotiations with the European Parliament should be concluded before the end of the year. Then the laws could be passed before the European elections in June 2024. If that doesn’t work, changing the political balance of power could make renegotiation necessary.
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