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The refugee crisis has stretched the EU’s asylum system to breaking point. Learn about Parliament’s proposals to create a fairer, more effective European asylum policy.

Check out the facts in our infographic 

Since 2015, the largest influx of refugees and migrants into Europe since World War II has exposed flaws in the EU’s asylum system. Parliament is calling for an overhaul to ensure a robust, fair system for the future. Ahead of the European Council summit on 28-29 June, MEPs are urging EU governments to reach a common position on the revamp of the Dublin system to allow for negotiations with Parliament to begin immediately. Parliament adopted its position in November 2017.

“Results rather than grandstanding”

Speaking ahead of World Refugee Day on 20 June, Cecilia Wikström, Parliament’s lead MEP on asylum reform, said: “Time is quickly running out if we want to find a solution to the Dublin regulation in this legislature and citizens expect results rather than grandstanding from our leaders.”

In a speech in Vienna on 19 June, President Antonio Tajani said: “Migration is our biggest challenge. It is putting at risk the very future of the European Union.”

In a debate in Parliament a week earlier, MEPs called on EU leaders to press ahead with overhauling the Dublin rules.

Young Rohingya refugees look out over Palong Khali refugee camp, near the Myanmar border in south-east Bangladesh.© UNHCR/Andrew McConnell 

What are the Dublin rules?
The cornerstone of the EU asylum system, the Dublin regulation determines which EU country is responsible for processing applications for international protection. Parliament’s position is that:

  • The country in which an asylum seeker first arrives would no longer be automatically responsible for processing the asylum application.
  • Asylum seekers with a “genuine link” to a particular EU country should be transferred there.
  • Those without a genuine link to an EU country should be shared fairly among all member states. Countries refusing to participate in the transfer of asylum seekers could lose EU funds.
  • Security measures should be stepped up, and all asylum seekers must be registered upon arrival with their fingerprints checked against relevant EU databases.
  • Provisions on minors should be strengthened and family reunification procedures accelerated.

Learn more about Parliament’s position in the infographic above and in this background note.

According to the UN Refugee Agency, 16.2 million people were forcibly displaced in 2017 due to persecution, conflict or violence. It brings the total worldwide population of forcibly displaced people to a new high of 68.5 million. 85% of the world’s refugees are hosted by developing regions.

Find out about Parliament’s other initiatives to improve the common European asylum system.