EP ready to start talks with EU governments on overhaul of Dublin system
- Country of entry no longer automatically responsible for processing asylum applications
- All EU countries should accept their fair share of responsibility for hosting asylum seekers
- Those that refuse could lose EU funds
The European Parliament is now ready to start talks on revamping the Dublin system to ensure that asylum seekers are fairly shared among EU member states.
A broad majority of MEPs endorsed the mandate, drawn up by the Civil Liberties Committee, in a vote on Thursday (390 to 175, with 44 abstentions). Parliament can now begin talks with the Council as soon as EU member states have agreed their own negotiating position.
The proposed changes to the Dublin rules aim to remedy weaknesses in the current system and ensure that all EU countries accept their fair share of responsibility for hosting asylum seekers in the EU.
Under the reform, the country in which an asylum seeker first arrives would no longer be automatically responsible for processing his or her asylum application. Instead, asylum seekers should be shared among all EU countries, by being swiftly and automatically relocated to another EU country.
EU member states that do not accept their fair share of asylum seekers should face the risk of having their access to EU funds reduced.
Read more about Parliament’s position in this background note.
Parliament’s lead MEP Cecilia Wikström (ALDE, SE) said:”With the Parliament ready to start negotiations, I urge the Council of Ministers to take a common position as soon as possible, so that trialogue negotiations can begin and a well-functioning, truly new European asylum system can be put into place as soon as possible.”
The Dublin system is the EU law that determines which EU country is responsible for processing an application for international protection. The right to apply for asylum is laid down in the Geneva Convention, which all EU member states have signed and which has been incorporated in the EU Treaties.
The decision by the Civil Liberties Committee to open talks with the Council was announced at the opening of the session in Strasbourg on Monday. Since more than 76 members objected to the decision by midnight on Tuesday, a vote on the mandate had to be added to the agenda.