All EU countries must take their fair share of asylum seekers 

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  • Automatic relocation of all asylum seekers according to a fixed distribution key
  • All asylum seekers to be registered upon arrival
  • Security checks to be stepped up
The first countries of arrival would no longer automatically be responsible for the asylum seekers© UNHCR/Hereward Holland  

EU countries refusing to relocate asylum seekers should have reduced access to EU funds, say MEPs in Parliament’s draft negotiating mandate on new Dublin rules.

The Civil Liberties Committee on Thursday passed its proposals for a new Dublin regulation, the corner stone of the EU asylum system, including remedies to current weaknesses and creating a robust system for the future.

The first countries of arrival would no longer automatically be responsible for the asylum seekers. Instead, the assignment of responsibility would be based on “genuine links” to a member state, such as family, prior residence or studies.

If no such link exists, asylum seekers would be automatically assigned  to an EU member state according to a fixed distribution key, as soon as they are registered and after a security check and swift assessment of their eligibility for being accepted. This is to avoid that “front line” member states shoulder a disproportionate share of Europe’s international obligations to protect people in need and to speed up asylum procedures.

Member states that do not follow the rules would face the risk of having their access to EU funds reduced.

Read more about the proposals from Parliament in this Background Note.

The draft report prepared by Cecilia Wikström (ALDE, SE) was approved by 43 votes to 16, with no abstentions. It constitutes Parliament’s negotiating mandate for talks with member states in the Council.


Parliament’s lead MEP on the revision, Cecilia Wikström (ALDE, SE) said: “The European asylum system is one of the key issues determining how Europe’s future will develop. As rapporteur, my goal is to create a truly new asylum system, based on solidarity, with clear rules and incentives to follow them, both for the asylum seekers and for all member states”.

Next steps

The plenary will be asked to formally confirm the decision by the Civil Liberties Committee to enter into negotiations during its November session in Strasbourg. Council has yet to approve its mandate.

Quick facts

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 into the EU Treaties. The Dublin rules spell out how EU countries must fulfil this common, international obligation and share the responsibility for people in need of protection among member states.

The Commission presented its proposal for a new Dublin system in May 2016. Parliament's rapporteur presented her draft report to the Civil Liberties Committee on 8 March 2017.