Is the dignified reception of all asylum seekers in Europe an illusion?
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The Dublin Regulation reform divides European member states
Whereas, according to the European Commission’s roadmap on migration, EU member states have to reach agreement on the reform of the Dublin Regulation before the European summit, to be held on the 28 and 29th of June, countries of the Visegrád Four (V4) and of the South Mediterranean remain strongly divided on the issue.
For some years now, countries of the V4 – Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic – have strongly opposed the implementation of mandatory relocation quotas of asylum seekers in the European Union, thereby hindering the development of a European mechanism ensuring burden sharing across EU countries. This time, however, opposition to a compromise proposal from Bulgaria (that is currently holding the presidency of the Council of the EU) Dublin recast proposal came from South Mediterranean countries – Italy, Spain, Greece, Malta and Cyprus.
These five countries have published a “position paper” in which they ask that “responsibility” and “solidarity” be properly balanced. Amongst other things, they reject the increase to ten years (since then, reduced to eight) of the time period during which a member state is responsible for examining an asylum claim and argue for it to be lowered to two years. They also ask that the time and effort put in by frontline member states to manage the external border of the EU be recognized and integrated in the Regulation. Moreover, the group criticizes the distribution scheme as well as the proposed financial solidarity mechanism that would allow states to pay 30 000 euro per person instead of being allocated asylum seekers. They argue that these measures will not have an immediate positive impact on frontline countries.
Despite the limited progress made during the negotiations following the Bulgarian Presidency’s latest proposal, the European Commission and Germany are still pushing for a deal to be struck before the end of June. Indeed, as of July 1st, the Presidency of the Council will be held by Austria – whose government coalition includes a far-right party.
This article was originally published in May in the “Veille Europe” of France terre d’asile, available in French HERE.