Asylum rule chaos and significantly more migrants: "Each EU member state does what it wants"
Created: 07/12/2022, 07:15
By: Andreas Schmid
The EU is largely divided on asylum policy.
At the same time, more migrants are currently reaching the European Union again.
© Angelos Tzortzinis/afp (Montage)
On hardly any other topic does the EU seem so divided as on asylum and migration policy.
That has consequences.
Strasbourg – A larger asylum package is to come in the EU by 2024.
A mammoth project by Parliament, Council and Commission with several laws, for example on the distribution of refugees or asylum procedures, as well as complex considerations from the safety of the arriving people to concerns of the member states.
Actually, the first votes on some points of the new asylum package should take place soon.
But the ballot has been postponed indefinitely.
Decisions are urgently needed.
"Big asylum disagreement" in the EU: A common concept is missing
"We are in a situation in which there have been no rules for many years and as a result each member state is looking for a different solution," says Birgit Sippel (SPD), an expert on European asylum law.
For eight years, the EU has failed to agree on binding admission rules.
Joint solutions are rare and actually only exist on paper.
In the summer there was a model by the Commission for “voluntary solidarity” when taking in refugees who have the prospect of asylum.
But some countries like Austria or Hungary didn't go along with it - and the plan fell through before it really got started.
Only 117 people were distributed within this project.
8000 were agreed.
We swing from emergency solution to emergency solution
MEP Lena Düpont (CDU)
Increasing migration figures via the Balkan route and the Mediterranean
The EU is facing challenges: This year around 85,000 migrants have already come to Europe via the central Mediterranean route.
An increase of about 50 percent compared to 2021. Via the Balkan route it was more than 128,000 people by October (source: Frontex).
That is 168 percent more than in the same period last year.
At the end of November, the EU Commission then presented a new plan for the coordination of refugees.
A 20-point project should help.
The EU is reacting again instead of acting, critics say.
"I find it tragic that we only discuss flight when people are in inflatable boats.
Then it's too late," said Erik Marquardt (Greens), a Member of the European Parliament, with a focus on flight and migration.
The migration policy spokeswoman for the CDU/CSU group in the EU Parliament, Lena Düpont, says: “We simply have no common European basis.
We swing from emergency solution to emergency solution.”
Lena Düpont has been a member of the European Parliament since 2019.
The CDU politician also says: "The asylum package is not the answer to everything.
We will not solve every potential crisis with this.” © Martin Lahousse
Unequal distribution of refugees in the EU
One problem is the distribution of refugees.
Many Ukrainian refugees end up in Poland or the Czech Republic.
Germany has taken in around a million people from Ukraine, Baden-Württemberg alone more than all of France.
Migrants from Africa, on the other hand, mainly reach Italy, Greece or Spain.
Here, too, the distribution is unequal.
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Green politician Marquardt makes the member states responsible.
"Unfortunately, many EU states are currently not willing to participate in a solidarity-based distribution in Europe." Almost all EU states think fair distribution is right, "but it is difficult for them to take responsibility for it and take concrete steps." .
Green politician Erik Marquardt in conversation with IPPEN.MEDIA political journalist Andreas Schmid.
Failed asylum policy can currently be seen in the admission dispute between Italy and France or in Austria's new asylum cooperation with Hungary and Serbia.
The "EU asylum policy has failed," said Chancellor Karl Nehammer.
One is “forced to enter into new forms of cooperation”.
Lena Düpont from the CDU, like Nehammer's ÖVP member of the EPP group, cannot understand that.
"Member states have also been able to enter into their own agreements in the past, but the EU has not prevented them from doing so."
There is also criticism from the SPD.
"Such statements do not help at all," says Sippel.
"Actually, the member states themselves have failed." After all, they had already agreed to an asylum package in 2013 - but at the same time did not implement it.
"Each member state does what it wants." A sentence that describes the asylum chaos in the EU quite aptly.
Andreas Schmid reports from Strasbourg
Andreas Schmid reports from Strasbourg