What evolution of asylum policies in European countries since 2015?
In the 2010s, and in particular from 2015 onwards with the intensification of the Syrian conflict, the number of asylum applications significantly increased in the EU Member States. This situation has led to political tensions in and between some countries – particularly those on the "front line" such as Greece and Italy – regarding the suitable responses in terms of reception and integration of exiled persons. How have national asylum systems in Europe adapted? Is the reaction of the European institutions – in a fragmented Union on the issue of asylum – appropriate?
The reception of asylum seekers as a test of European solidarity since 2015
The EU Member States have had to face up to the challenge of the reception of asylum seekers for a number of years now. Although supporting them is crucial, there is a huge contrast in the way this actually happens from one country to another. The degree of solidarity shown by governments when it comes to sharing responsibilities fairly within the bloc is also far from uniform.Read more
Is a reform of European asylum policy still possible?
Asylum became a European competence in 1999 and has gradually become the subject of a legislative framework thanks to the introduction of the Common European Asylum System. However, since 2015, European policies in this area have shown their limits, leading to a reform process which has still not come off. At a time when the new European commission is setting out its objectives for a new common asylum policy, is reform still possible?
"The EU-Turkey Statement made it impossible to provide decent and humane reception conditions to asylum seekers"
Through the implementation of various activities - from initial reception services to the promotion of integration - the Greek Refugee Council seeks to inform about their rights and support the largest number of asylum seekers and refugees on Greek territory. It has become one of the major associations in the field of asylum in Greece and has helped more than 125,000 beneficiaries since its creation in 1989.
The coronavirus effect on European migration policyAlain Le Cléac'h, Member of the Board of Directors of France terre d'asile
Alain Le Cléac'h shares his point of view on the coronavirus epidemic and its consequences on the rights of migrants in France, and on what it implies in terms of European migration policy.
Germany’s Ankerzentren: a quick way of managing the asylum procedure while undermining fundamental rights
The first Ankerzentren were set up in 2018 at the instigation of the German Minister of Interior Horst Seehofer. They are designed to speed up the processing of asylum applications and to make it easier both to send rejected asylum seekers home and to transfer those placed under the “Dublin” procedure to other countries. These reception centres are the only ones of their kind in Europe and might inspire other Member States. However, a year and a half after they were set up, there is a great deal of criticism which is bringing the justification for their introduction into question.
"If the question of the distribution of migrants throughout the EU is codified, we will no longer see the kind of thing that is currently happening in Greece"
Sylvie Guillaume is a member of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats group in the European Parliament (S&D). She shares her views on the management of asylum seekers' arrivals in the EU since 2015, on the new Pact on Asylum and Immigration of the von der Leyen Commission and on the role of the Parliament for the European legislature starting in 2019.
Europe of asylum in the aftermath of the health crisisThe pandemic seems to have put everything on hold: the arrivals of migrants in Europe, their movement between Member States which have closed their borders, even the exercise of the right of asylum in countries such as France, which have gone as far as to close its registration offices for asylum seekers. And almost the debate on these issues. The decline of the epidemic is a good time to take stock.
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Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic broke European law by refusing to receive asylum seekers
The three Central European countries only received twelve people as part of the European relocation programme between 2015 and 2017, a course of action which has been judged to be contrary to European Union law by the Court of Justice of the European Union.
Asylum seekers are being severely affected by the COVID-19 health crisis in Europe
In Europe, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the adoption of new measures in relation to migratory policy, with direct consequences for the lives of asylum seekers.
Luxembourg and Germany have taken the first unaccompanied minors from the Greek camps
As part of a new relocation programme managed by the European Commission which is due to cover 1,600 refugee children trapped in camps on the Greek islands, fifty-nine of them arrived in Luxembourg and Germany between 15th and 18th April.
The European Union launches Operation IRINI in order to enforce the Libya arms embargo
EUNAVFOR MED Operation IRINI, which follows on from Operation Sophia and aims to enforce the arms embargo imposed upon Libya, got underway on 1st April.
The COVID-19 crisis puts a hold on President Erdoğan’s strategy of opening the borders
Whereas Turkey was hoping to apply pressure to the EU by deciding no longer to keep refugees on her territory, on 18th March the authorities announced the closing of the borders with Bulgaria and Greece in order to contain the spreading of coronavirus.