The reform of European asylum law is one of the key questions in the context of how the future of Europe will develop, and the Dublin regulation reforms have been described as the largest and politically most complicated proposal during this mandate.
Broad majority in the European Parliament
I am responsible for leading the work and internal negotiations of the European Parliament, and will be representing the parliament in negotiations with EU-commission and Council once the member states have reached a common position. Hopefully we will have a completely revised asylum system in place before the summer of 2019.
I am very happy that we managed in November 2017 to gather a very broad majority of the European Parliament behind a pragmatic and far reaching reform.
Solidarity is needed
It is well-known that the Dublin regulation in its present state has never really worked. The current regulation has created a situation in which member states neglect to register asylum seekers and asylum seekers have been able to choose for themselves the country they register in.
The burdens on EU Member States has thus become very uneven. At the same time some of the applicants have been sent back rather arbitrarily to overburdened frontline states. Even before the crisis only about four percent of the total number of asylum seekers were subject to a return to the first member state of entry in accordance with the Dublin regulation.
Through a fair sharing of the responsibility for the reception of asylum seekers in a simple and well-organised system, we can bring order to the chaos that has been allowed to reign until now.
With the European Parliament proposal for the reforms of the Dublin regulation the asylum seekers will be evenly distributed based on the population and GDP of member states. The first country of entry in the EU will have clear incentives to register everyone that arrives and to conduct a security screening. The asylum seekers will be given incentives to apply directly in the first member state of arrival and to stay within the system.
If every Member State would have taken its fair share of the responsibility during the crisis of 2015 Sweden would have received approximately 40 000 asylum seekers, instead we received 160 000 asylum seekers.
Fair share of responsibility
It is time to construct a resilient asylum system where all EU Member States assume their fair share of the responsibility, and where this responsibility is binding. I call on the Council to arrive at a common position as soon as possible so that we can start trilogue negotiations and arrive at a functioning and completely reformed European asylum system.