March 9, 2017

Reform of EU Asylum system: Wikström proposes permanent relocation system based on fairness and solidarity

ALDE MEP Cecilia Wikström today presented, at the civil liberties committee of the European Parliament, her report on the reform of the EU asylum rules. Wikström has modified the Commission’s proposal to reform the Dublin regulation that, according to the leading Swedish liberal MEP, is no longer fit for purpose. Wikström’s proposal is based on the following key principles:

•    Automatic registration of all arrivals by Member States with external borders to speed up process and break the incentives for secondary movements
•    A compulsory and permanent relocation system so all Member States are legally obliged to accept asylum seekers and contribute to relieve pressure on frontline countries
•    Removal of pre-Dublin admissibility procedures, so the responsibility for conducting admissibility procedures is shared amongst member states
•    Light family procedure to allow family reunification after assessment of the application
•    Allocation of groups of up to 30 applicants at a time
•    Introduction of an emergency break in the automatic corrective allocation system, which will be suspended if the member state does not protect and manage its external border
•    No opt-out from the corrective allocation system: paying EUR 250.000 per applicant to avoid the accommodation of refugees, as proposed by the Commission, must not be possible
•    Five year transitional period to determine the quotas for each member state based on factors such as GDP and population
•    Faster appointment of guardians for unaccompanied minors

Speaking after the presentation, Cecilia Wikström, European Parliament’s rapporteur, said: “In 2015 alone, more than one million people arrived in Europe fleeing war and conflict. The EU asylum system collapsed due to its numerous shortcomings”.
“We can no longer continue with watered down compromises and urgent ad hoc responses to crisis situations, where a hand full of countries take all the responsibility. We need a fair and efficient asylum system for the EU”.
“My proposal aims to deliver a faster mechanism to offer international protection for those who need it, while ensuring the survival of the free movement of people in Europe”.
“All member states must accommodate refugees.  Their cooperation is vital to speed up the administration of asylum applications. We must also ensure that those persons who are not entitled to have international protection return to their home countries in a quick and dignified manner”.
“My report sets the basis for a reformed system which  ensures that everyone is incentivised to play by the rules. I want to see a truly European asylum system where all member states take their fair share. Through powerful reforms at EU level, like the one I am presenting here today, we can accomplish a long-term sustainable solution for the EU to adhere to  its moral responsibility and comply with its international obligations”.
“This Parliament has spoken loud and clear throughout the refugee crisis, by proposing solutions and coming up with sustainable proposals. I hope EU Member States are up to the task and assume their responsibility”.
“I am looking forward to debating my proposal in this parliament so we can deliver the new asylum rules the EU urgently needs”.   

Note to editors:

Please find Wikström’s proposal here.

Cecilia Wikström

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