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European Commission to unveil new EU asylum option

BBC News

See: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35974982

The European Commission is due to unveil options for reforms to the way EU countries handle asylum claims in response to the migrant crisis.

Under the current system, EU countries have the power to return asylum seekers to the first EU state they entered

Under the current system, EU countries have the power to return asylum seekers to the first EU state they enteredImage copyright AFP Image

The move is in part a reaction to the difficulties faced by Greece and Italy in coping with large numbers arriving from the Middle East and Africa.

The current EU system is widely thought to have failed because of the influx of a million people through Greece.

Under the rules refugees should claim asylum in the country they arrive in.

But the so-called Dublin regulation proved unworkable when Chancellor Angela Merkel opened the door to Syrian refugees last August.

 Migrants on the Greek island of Chios have protested against a deal which will see them being sent back to Turkey

Migrants on the Greek island of Chios have protested against a deal which will see them being sent back to Turkey –Image copyright AFP

Greece and Italy had already stopped registering every arrival, but the daily journey of thousands of irregular migrants from Turkey to the Greek islands meant that most were allowed to continue their route through the Balkans.

Eventually several countries put up fences and border controls in an attempt to halt the influx.

The European Commission is expected to suggest either a modest change that preserves the current system but adds a “fairness” provision so a country struggling to cope can get help.

A second, more radical option would be to scrap the existing rules and distribute refugees around Europe.

However, several countries do not want to see wholesale changes to the system.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Almost all the detainees in the Moria migrant camp on Lesbos have claimed asylum
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Hundreds of migrants are expected to be returned as deportations under the deal with Turkey gather pace
 Image caption Turkey is preparing to accommodate the deported migrants

Image caption Turkey is preparing to accommodate the deported migrantsImage copyright AFP 

The UK and many eastern European states have made clear they want to keep the system which allows them to return asylum seekers to the country where they entered the EU.

Whichever proposal is finally agreed, the UK cannot be forced to take asylum seekers as it has opt-outs from EU asylum policies, BBC Europe correspondent Damian Grammaticas explains.

Under an EU deal aimed at cutting off the migrant route through the Balkans, Greece has begun deporting migrants to Turkey if they do not apply for asylum or if their claim is rejected.

However, the Athens government paused the operation on Tuesday, a day after the first boats took 202 people to the Turkish port of Dikili.

Hundreds more are due to be removed later this week, but the migrants are arriving in Greece faster than they can be sent back.

In other developments:

  • Pope Francis is said to be considering a trip to Lesbos to highlight the difficulties faced by migrants and refugees there
  • Germany may lift temporary border controls introduced last year to help reduce the migrant flow by mid-May if the number of arrivals continues to fall, the AFP news agency reported Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere as saying
  • Doctors Without Borders and Save the Children have suspended activities on several Greek islands to protest against the terms of the deal with Turkey. They argue that the deal turns reception centres for refugees into centres of inhumanity
  • _89102863_datapic_greecemigrantsapril

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

_88503979_migrant_journeys_turkey_to_germany_624_v6A note on terminology: The BBC uses the term migrant to refer to all people on the move who have yet to complete the legal process of claiming asylum. This group includes people fleeing war-torn countries such as Syria, who are likely to be granted refugee status, as well as people who are seeking jobs and better lives, who governments are likely to rule are economic migrants.


Are you a migrant from Syria, Pakistan or any of the other countries involved in deportations this week? What do you think of the deportations? Are you affected? Send us your views and experiences. Email haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk with your stories.

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BBC News

See: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35974982

The European Commission is due to unveil options for reforms to the way EU countries handle asylum claims in response to the migrant crisis.

Under the current system, EU countries have the power to return asylum seekers to the first EU state they entered

Under the current system, EU countries have the power to return asylum seekers to the first EU state they enteredImage copyright AFP Image

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The move is in part a reaction to the difficulties faced by Greece and Italy in coping with large numbers arriving from the Middle East and Africa.

The current EU system is widely thought to have failed because of the influx of a million people through Greece.

Under the rules refugees should claim asylum in the country they arrive in.

But the so-called Dublin regulation proved unworkable when Chancellor Angela Merkel opened the door to Syrian refugees last August.

 Migrants on the Greek island of Chios have protested against a deal which will see them being sent back to Turkey

Migrants on the Greek island of Chios have protested against a deal which will see them being sent back to Turkey –Image copyright AFP

Greece and Italy had already stopped registering every arrival, but the daily journey of thousands of irregular migrants from Turkey to the Greek islands meant that most were allowed to continue their route through the Balkans.

Eventually several countries put up fences and border controls in an attempt to halt the influx.

The European Commission is expected to suggest either a modest change that preserves the current system but adds a “fairness” provision so a country struggling to cope can get help.

A second, more radical option would be to scrap the existing rules and distribute refugees around Europe.

However, several countries do not want to see wholesale changes to the system.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Almost all the detainees in the Moria migrant camp on Lesbos have claimed asylum
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Hundreds of migrants are expected to be returned as deportations under the deal with Turkey gather pace
 Image caption Turkey is preparing to accommodate the deported migrants

Image caption Turkey is preparing to accommodate the deported migrantsImage copyright AFP 

The UK and many eastern European states have made clear they want to keep the system which allows them to return asylum seekers to the country where they entered the EU.

Whichever proposal is finally agreed, the UK cannot be forced to take asylum seekers as it has opt-outs from EU asylum policies, BBC Europe correspondent Damian Grammaticas explains.

Under an EU deal aimed at cutting off the migrant route through the Balkans, Greece has begun deporting migrants to Turkey if they do not apply for asylum or if their claim is rejected.

However, the Athens government paused the operation on Tuesday, a day after the first boats took 202 people to the Turkish port of Dikili.

Hundreds more are due to be removed later this week, but the migrants are arriving in Greece faster than they can be sent back.

In other developments:


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

_88503979_migrant_journeys_turkey_to_germany_624_v6A note on terminology: The BBC uses the term migrant to refer to all people on the move who have yet to complete the legal process of claiming asylum. This group includes people fleeing war-torn countries such as Syria, who are likely to be granted refugee status, as well as people who are seeking jobs and better lives, who governments are likely to rule are economic migrants.


Are you a migrant from Syria, Pakistan or any of the other countries involved in deportations this week? What do you think of the deportations? Are you affected? Send us your views and experiences. Email haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk with your stories.