In the shadow of the knife attack in France, carried out by a Syrian asylum seeker, the interior ministers of the EU countries are discussing changing the policy of granting asylum, in an effort to reduce the scope of immigration to EU countries and to distribute the burden of absorbing this migration among all EU countries.
Under current policy, refugees and asylum seekers are supposed to remain in the first European country they arrive. This policy has led to the route of many refugees, asylum seekers and illegal immigrants from the Middle East and Africa, mainly to EU countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea – Greece, Italy and Spain. Several EU countries, notably Hungary and Poland, have refused EU attempts to force them to take in some of these refugees and asylum seekers. Other countries, Germany, Sweden and France, opened their borders to help share the burden of absorbing refugees and asylum seekers.
Shocking footage from France: walking around a park and stabbing babies \\ Photo: Social networks
Under a proposal by Sweden, which serves as the rotating president of the European Union, the right to asylum in the EU would be checked on the EU's external borders, and not after entering EU territory. In the current situation of checking the right to asylum in EU territory, it is impossible to return those refused asylum to their countries of origin. Germany is demanding that families with children be exempted from this test. Sweden also proposes that countries that refuse to accept asylum recipients pay a fine for every asylum recipient admitted to another country.
Right-wing activists demonstrate against refugees in Cologne, Germany, photo: AP
The fines will relate to a quota of about 20,000 people. Poland rejects that clause out of hand, saying it has taken in about a million Ukrainian refugees since the Ukraine war began. Interior ministers hope to reach an agreement on changing the asylum policy today or at a meeting in two weeks, before the EU's rotating presidency is handed over to Hungary. German Interior Minister Nancy Fazer has warned that unless an agreement on reform is reached, it will mean abolishing the Schengen area and returning to national border controls between EU members. Fazer spoke of "historical background" for the Union.
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