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Parliament advocates a centralised EU asylum system and legal ways to migrate

A centralised asylum system would allow the EU to better manage flows of migrants and asylum seekers, said the European Parliament on Tuesday. It also asked for safe and legal ways to be found for third country nationals to enter the Union without resorting to human smugglers at the risk of their lives.

In a non-binding resolution, MEPs acknowledge the failure of the EU asylum system to cope with ever-rising numbers of migrant arrivals and call for a radical overhaul of the so-called Dublin rules. They propose establishing a central system for collecting and allocating asylum applications. The scheme, which could include a quota for each EU member state, would work on the basis of “hotspots” from which refugees would be distributed.

The resolution, drafted by Roberta Metsola (EPP, MT) and Kashetu Kyenge (S&D, IT), was approved by 459 votes to 206, with 52 abstentions.

The European Commission is currently considering a revision of the Dublin III Regulation (which determines which member state is responsible for processing which asylum application) and has pledged to present a legislative proposal before the summer.

“There is no quick fix for migration, no magic silver bullet. We do not need more emergency solutions, we need a sustainable approach for the future”, said Ms Metsola during the plenary debate.

"Migration should not be combatted, it should be managed”, added Ms Kyenge, insisting that the European approach should be based on solidarity and responsibility sharing.

Parliament underlines that the current asylum system does not take proper account of the particular migratory pressures faced by member states with EU external borders. MEPs demand changes to ensure fairness and shared responsibility, solidarity and swift processing of applications.

Relocation and resettlement

The text calls on member states to fulfil their obligations with regard to urgent relocation measures, stressing that so far, only a minimal part of the 106,000 asylum seekers awaiting reassignment from Italy and Greece to other EU countries had actually been relocated. On resettlement, MEPs insist that the EU needs a “binding and mandatory legislative approach”.

Returns

MEPs demand new EU-wide “readmission” (return) agreements which they say should take precedence over bilateral ones between member states and third countries. They insist that migrants should be returned only if the country to which they are being returned to is safe for them.

 

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