Reform of the EU asylum rules - creating a new Dublin system that works
On 9 March 2017, Parliament’s lead MEP on the reform of the Dublin system, Swedish liberal Cecilia Wikström, will present her draft report to the Civil Liberties Committee.
The draft report is a first response to the Commission’s proposal, presented in May 2016, for reform of the Dublin regulation. This regulation, which determines which member state is responsible for processing an asylum application, constitutes the cornerstone of the EU asylum system, which is currently undergoing a major revamp.
In the report, Ms Wikström proposes ways to remedy the weaknesses of the current EU asylum rules, which became obvious in 2015 when more than one million people fled war, conflicts and persecution and applied for international protection in the EU, resulting in the near-total collapse of the system. To ensure that the new asylum system will work in practice, the rapporteur sets out three key priorities:
- all member states must share responsibility for asylum seekers,
- accelerating procedures: people needing international protection should get it much faster while those who do not have the right to asylum should be returned to their home countries in a swift and dignified manner, and
- all asylum seekers should be registered upon arrival in the EU and member states with EU external borders must protect and maintain them.
The aim is to ensure that member states on the southern borders are no longer left to shoulder a disproportionate share of the EU’s obligations to applicants for international protection. The system should not encourage member states to turn a blind eye or apply “wave-through” policies, and asylum seekers should be certain that their applications will be treated swiftly and fairly in all countries.