Permanent EU relocation mechanism

In “Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs - LIBE”

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The EU’s Common European Asylum System’s (CEAS) aims at stronger cooperation between Member States, and balancing out the burden amongst them. However in practice, due to CEAS’ uneven implementation in the Member States, asylum-seekers apply for asylum in a few Member States where it is most likely to be granted, and hence the burden varies dramatically between Member States.

After outlining immediate measures to respond to the refugee and migration crisis in May 2015, the Commission also stressed the medium and long-term need for permanent structural solutions for better migration management in all its aspects.

Hence in September 2015, the European Commission presented a proposal for a Regulation on a permanent crisis relocation mechanism under the Dublin system amending Regulation (EU) No 604/2013 of 26 June 2013 on criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining international protection applications by third country nationals or a stateless person ('Dublin system'). The legislative proposal focuses on the following:

- a robust EU crisis relocation mechanism dealing with crises in the asylum area, triggered rapidly for any Member States’ asylum systems experiencing significant strain, also considering Member States’ size;

- clear indicators to be used by the Commission to assess crisis situations and necessary temporary measures;

- fair sharing of Member States’ responsibilities in crisis situations for large numbers of applicants needing international protection and full protection of international protection applicants’ rights. The proposal defines those applicants as belonging to nationalities for which, based on the latest available updated quarterly EU-wide average Eurostat data, the recognition rate is 75% or higher. Should the Commission establish that the conditions for relocation are present in respect of a particular Member State, it would adopt a delegated act for triggering the relocation mechanism’s application.

- Member States’ right to refuse to relocate an applicant apply only in relation to national security or public order concerns or exclusion provisions set out in Directive 2011/95/EU. In this context the draft regulation defines a mandatory distribution key for determining the responsibility for examining applications based on population, total GDP, average number of asylum applications over the five preceding years and unemployment rate with different weighting.

- Member States’ on arrival retain responsibility for the procedure for granting international protection, but receive increased operational support from other Member States. Member States will receive a 6 000 EUR lump sum under the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) for each relocated person on their territory.

The Commission proposal was assigned to the EP’s LIBE Committee on 16 September 2015 (rapporteur: Timothy Kirkhope, ECR, UK). Presenting the Commission proposal and state of play in Council on 1 December 2015, the rapporteur stressed the need for a robust framework, a distribution mechanism, and procedures for appeals, noting that the solutions should fit the current as well as any future crisis (note 15309/15).On 3 December 2015 the rapporteur presented and discussed the National parliament reasoned opinions on the issue before the Legal Affairs Committee Committees (JURI). The LIBE Committee also organised a hearing on The reform of the Dublin System and Crisis Relocation with the participation of various stakeholders in October 2016.Since then, there have been no developments on the file in Parliament.

On 14 September 2015, the Council adopted a decision establishing a temporary relocation mechanism for international protection applicants, with member states participating in the mechanism receiving a 6 000 EUR lump sum for each relocated person. At the same time, on 17 September 2015, the EP voted to back the Council decision.

On 5 October 2015 The Council decided to carry out a thorough assessment of each country of origin (concerning the list of safe countries of origin) and an assessment of the crisis relocation mechanism’s results before starting the discussion on the permanent crisis relocation mechanism.

On 1 December 2015 in Council discussions, some delegations raised general scrutiny reservations, reiterating the need for an evaluation of the functioning of the temporary emergency relocation schemes and addressing the functioning of the hotspots and the prevention of secondary movements. At the same time, some other Member States supported the Presidency underlining the importance of pursuing the discussions with a view to seeking a fairer burden sharing between Member States. The Council continued discussions on 7 December and on 21 January 2016 (related Council documents are not publicly accessible).

On 21 June 2019 the Commission withdrew the proposal. 



Author: Nikolai Atanassov, Members' Research Service,

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As of 20/03/2023.