For several years, parties and politicians of the outside right have urged, above all, that all asylum applications be processed in camps outside Europe.
More and more governments and countries are starting to pick up the ball, in line with steadily increasing migrant pressures and in the absence of other common solutions.
However, the European Commission says no, at least for now. There are no rules for such activities outside the Union.
– Our opinion is clear: current EU law only applies to asylum applications on the territory of EU countries, and not outside it, spokeswoman Anita Heber said on Monday.
“Must be discussed”
Maybe being swayed. In Germany, both the Christian Democratic opposition within the CDU/CSU and the liberal government party (FDP) have spoken in favor of a local asylum process.
And this is where the government-dominated Social Democratic Party appears to be headed now.
– We have concluded migration agreements with many countries (in Africa) and if in the end this means that you can also carry out the asylum process there, it is something that we have to discuss, one party leader of the Social Democratic Party, Lars Klingbeil, told the TV channel. ZDF on Sunday.
There may also be some opening in the ongoing final negotiations on a new EU pact on asylum and migration.
Member states are pushing for a short stay in a country en route so they can return asylum seekers there – if only the country can be defined as safe enough.
However, lawyers and human rights activists are concerned.
“If the changes in the new agreement are implemented, the concept of safe countries could be used to shift the responsibility to protect further outside the EU,” researcher Andreina De Leeuw wrote in an analysis for the EPC think tank.
In Britain – where immigration policy was one of the main reasons for leaving the European Union in 2020 – the Conservative government concluded an agreement with Rwanda to transfer new arrivals there, to process their asylum applications from afar.
But so far, all flights have been grounded, awaiting a British court ruling on whether or not Rwanda is safe enough.
Within the EU, Denmark is essentially on the same path, helped by the fact that it has long been excluded from EU cooperation on law and immigration. However, the Danish government has put these plans on hold for now, partly due to internal discord, and partly in the hope of being able to include more EU countries.
Among the interested countries is Austria, whose Interior Minister last week discussed this issue with his British counterpart.
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