EU agreement on a stricter asylum system

( – The EU states have agreed on a reform project with regard to the common asylum system. The reforms significantly tighten recognition procedures. At a meeting of EU interior ministers, a sufficient number of countries voted in favor of the proposed changes. Migrants with no prospect of staying, due to the fact that they stem from safe countries of origin, are to be accommodated in reception facilities immediately after crossing the EU borders. Recognition procedures of asylum seekers and a return to home countries will be arranged within EU border countries.

The EU states will show solidarity with the states on the EU’s external borders, such as Italy, as has been agreed. Countries that do not accept asylum seekers should pay a compensatory amount that will benefit the countries harboring those in quest of asylum.

Foreign Minister Baerbock (Greens) defended the agreement. The compromise was complicated, she implied. However, it was not the Federal Government of Germany having made the decision but the EU Council of Ministers. Without procedures countries at the external EU borders, an agreement would not have been reached, she explained. Germany had fought to ensure that children and families did not fall under the new regulation. However, there is an exception for unaccompanied minors and special protection rules under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Baerbock concluded.

Federal Interior Minister Faeser (SPD) had previously rejected calls from the CDU for a non-partisan commission to reform the asylum system in Germany. The only possibility is to improve the situation at European level, she said. Changes at national level would not change the causes of migration, explained Faeser, adding that the right to asylum has a high value in the Basic Law.

At the end of June, North Rhine-Westphalia’s Prime Minister Wüst (CDU) had spoken in favor of a significant reduction in immigration and better management of migration, particularly by way of an effective repatriation management.

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