When EU Commissioner Ylva Johansson presented the new proposal for an asylum and migration agreement last fall, she stated that “no one will be satisfied”. With this wording, she meant that the proposal was balanced and therefore member states should be able to waive the entire agreement.
Not much happened. The pandemic has made it difficult for EU parliamentarians and ministers to meet face to face to negotiate this sensitive issue.
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi is tired of the long bench. He calls for a re-discussion of immigration at EU summits. About 19,000 asylum seekers have arrived in Italy so far this year, a sharp increase compared to 2020.
Draghi’s notes Today’s solutions, in which some member states sometimes intervene and help asylum seekers, are not enough.
Pictures of dead children on the shores of Libya are rejected. We need solidarity, not indifference. He called for an additional summit in May.
Now he wants to see more nations unite and help each other. Such as the conclusion of the European Union agreements with countries in North Africa, similar to what it has concluded with Turkey since 2016.
So far this year About 35,000 immigrants joined the European Union. Most are across the central Mediterranean, from Libya and Tunisia to Italy. More than 800 are dead or missing, according to estimates by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
Mario Draghi’s idea of a group of EU countries going to defend each other is the latest in a number of proposals that have been made over the years. Again, this is a temporary solution. It is doubtful that many of the 27 countries in particular will join.
What does this do That EU countries find it difficult to agree on asylum and immigration policies? Bernd Barusel is an expert at the Swedish Migration Agency and part of the European Migration Network EMN. The main problem, he says, is that countries want such different things with politics.
The Mediterranean countries consider themselves the main actors and receive most of the asylum seekers who go there by sea. He says they want support from other countries and a regulatory system that can redistribute at least some of those who come to the EU.
In northern and western European countries, such as Sweden, it is also possible for asylum seekers to be distributed among different countries pending a decision. But the interests of this group also relate to the consequences of the movement of many migrants within the European Union, the so-called secondary movements.
– Then we have countries such as Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, and now also Austria, which absolutely do not want compulsory redistribution, says Bernd Barusel.
Mortera-Martinez Road, Researchers at the European Reform Center in Brussels do not fully share the reasoning that southern European countries want a mandatory redistribution of asylum seekers. It shows that many governments in Italy and Spain have opposed immigration policy reforms.
– It has very successful bilateral agreements and does not want the European Union to invest too much, she says and mentions Spain’s cooperation with Morocco and Italy with Libya.
Mortera-Martinez points out that while there are ambitions for a common EU asylum and migration policy, these are issues that are also being determined at the national level.
The region is part of the essence of being a sovereign state. Of course, all countries want their own control over something to do with everything from security through infrastructure and what voters think, she says.
She stressed that the possibility of agreeing on a common asylum and immigration policy is limited and therefore represents the problems surrounding the Dublin system. It is the cornerstone of EU cooperation and regulates the state responsible for processing an asylum application. The basic principle is that the first country a person comes to should deal with the case.
Regulations, the latest version that went into effect in 2013, It never worked as intended. Among other things, because states have different assessments of what the grounds for protection are. A refugee who knows that he risks having his application rejected in one country may try to reach another country where it is easier to obtain asylum. This is especially true for those fleeing Afghanistan.
Countries that had a large number of migrants arriving periodically also failed to register them and instead allowed them to travel further into the EU.
During the wave of refugees in 2015, when more than a million people fled, mostly from Syria, Greece was unable to cope with the influx and the regime collapsed.
What the EU has since agreed upon is above all to try to exclude migrants.
agreement with Turkey It means that the state prevents immigrants from entering the European Union illegally. In return, the European Union pledges to take in some Syrian refugees in Turkey and to pay the costs of receiving refugees managed by international organizations.
Turkey’s cooperation has helped control the flow of refugees and has helped ensure that refugees in Turkey can enjoy a reasonably acceptable life. At the same time, it is quite clear that Turkey can put pressure on the European Union, says migration expert Bernd Barusel.
The European Union and individual EU countries have also begun to cooperate with countries in North Africa to prevent boats from being rolled out. For example, the European Union is training border police in Libya. European Union Commissioner Ylva Johansson has visited Turkey and countries in North Africa several times.
in the committee Latest Proposal for Immigration Charter It is very much about returning those who do not have the right to asylum to their countries of origin. UNHCR does not want to force member states to accept asylum seekers, but it does want to force everyone to contribute in some way. An EU country that refuses to accept asylum seekers, for example, must be able to handle the return of migrants whose applications have been rejected in another country.
Mortira Martinez Road, at the research center CER, believes the new proposal is more politically viable than previous versions.
– The Commission’s proposal forces countries to take a position and publish their position on immigration. What has happened is that some countries in southern Europe have begun to accept the idea that it is possible to agree on certain issues without agreeing on all. For a long time, it was said otherwise from this point of view that we should agree on all or nothing, she says.
Migration expert Bernd Barousel describes the commission’s proposal as very complex.
There are many reasons for pessimism. He says it will probably be more difficult to replace the Dublin Regulation.
Moderate Thomas Toby is the European Parliament’s negotiator on the law that will replace the Dublin Regulation. He is expected to submit his proposal after the summer. After that, negotiations begin with other political groups to reach a common position. After that, Parliament will agree with the 27 member states.
– The European Parliament needs to move from previous positions until we reach a compromise. He says that forced redistribution is not a political way forward, but that all member states should help in different ways.
Malin Bjork from the Left Party حزب He was Parliament’s most recent negotiator on a law on immigration policy. She believes that this time members will find it more difficult to agree, in part due to political changes taking place in party groups.
Many still want this to be about how the EU puts its house in order and how it deals with redistribution, she says.
However, migration expert Bernd Barussel finds that the European Parliament finds it easier to agree on than the member states of the Council of Ministers.
In fact, the Cabinet does not have to agree on immigration issues. It suffices to be the majority. 22 member states can exceed five. Parusel believes that it will be difficult in such an infected issue as immigration. This risks widening the cracks that already exist in EU cooperation.
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