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Parliamentary questions
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25 January 2016
Question for written answer P-000539-16
to the Commission
Rule 130
Jussi Halla-aho (ECR)

 Subject:  Revision of the Geneva Convention relating to Refugees and amendment of the Qualification Directive
 Answer in writing 

In 2015, Germany registered 1.1 million asylum-seekers, Sweden 160 000 and Finland 32 000. These figures make it clear that immediate efforts are needed to stem the flow of asylum-seekers into the EU by means of effective measures, so as to avoid destroying cohesion among the nationals of European countries.

Many people who have applied for asylum in the EU have lived safely in Turkey for years, but have nonetheless been able to apply for international protection from EU countries. This is founded on the current interpretation of the Geneva Convention relating to Refugees. The idea behind the Convention was never that asylum-seekers should be permitted to choose a country in which to apply for asylum, opting for the one which appealed to them most.

The Geneva Convention relating to Refugees is in need of revision, because, as it currently stands, it permits massive abuse by a flood of asylum-seekers. The Commission should support the EU Member States in securing a revision of the Convention at international level, particularly as regards its Protocol, on the basis of which asylum-seekers can apply for international protection outside their continent of departure. The aim of the revision should be to allow people who are fleeing personal persecution or threats, as a rule, to seek safety within their continent of departure, while not being permitted, for example, to apply for asylum in EU countries. People who are in a safe third country should not have any right to seek asylum in another country. As a consequence of a possible revision of the Geneva Convention relating to Refugees, the Qualification Directive would also require amendments.

Will the Commission both support EU Member States in securing a revision of the Geneva Convention relating to Refugees at international level — such that asylum-seekers would in the first instance have to seek international protection in their continent of departure and that a person coming from a safe third country would not have the right to seek asylum — and propose amendments to the Qualification Directive necessitated by a possible revision of the Geneva Convention relating to Refugees?

Original language of question: FI 
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