Fair and sustainable: reforming the EU's asylum system 


The increased migration flows to Europe and the thousands of refugee children currently missing throughout Europe show the limits of the current EU asylum system.

Swedish ALDE member Cecilia Wikström presents her report on the reform of the Dublin regulation, which clarifies which EU country is responsible for processing asylum seekers, to the civil liberties committee on 9 March. Today she will outline her main proposals during a press conference starting at 11 CET.

In April 2016 the European Commission proposed a reform of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) to create a fairer and more sustainable system for allocating asylum applicants among member states. The proposal identified five areas. One of them was the Dublin system that has shown its inadequacies under the strain of the huge the volume and concentration of refugees and immigrants.

Dublin system


The Dublin regulation establishes which EU member state is responsible for the examination of the asylum application. The rules aim to ensure quick access to asylum procedures and the examination of an application in substance by a single MS. However, this system was not designed to ensure a sustainable sharing of responsibilities across the EU. The principle of the current regulation is that the responsibility for examining an asylum claim lies with the member state where the asylum seeker first arrives in the  EU.

Family unity and protection of unaccompanied minors are the main reasons for derogating from these rules. According to Europol some 10,000 unaccompanied refugee children have gone missing after arriving in Europe in 2016. Also according to UNHCR’s reports, 35% of migrants entering the EU since 1 January 2016 are children and many travel unaccompanied by an adult. In 2015, 85,482 unaccompanied minors applied for asylum in the EU, which was three times the 2014 figure. Half of them were from Afghanistan and 13% from Syria.

Wikström the lead MEP on the reform of the Dublin regulation, presents her draft report with proposals to the civil liberties committee on Thursday. The discussion will focus on possible changes to ensure more solidarity and sharing of responsibility among EU countries in tackling the migration and asylum crisis.

She will also hold a press conference today at 11 CET to outline her main proposals ahead of the committee debate.