Managing migration by new rules, creating legal avenues
More equitable Dublin Regulation that ensures redistribution of responsibility is needed
23 June, 2017
Photo: © European Parliament
Managing migration is at the top of our list of problems, EP President Antonio Tajani stressed.
A day before the important European Council meeting where migration is topping the agenda, a conference on migration management was held at the European Parliament in Brussels. The forum gathered over 700 people from the EU and African institutions and governments, national parliaments, international agencies, mayors, coastguard and customs officers, port managers, NGOs. Among the key topics of the discussion were the issues of responsibility-sharing among Member States, reinforcing the EU's internal security, tackling the root causes of migration and ensuring a stable and prosperous socio-economic environment in non-EU countries, as to find working options to cope with the migration crisis.
EP President Antonio Tajani, who indeed initiated the event, cited the most recent Eurobarometer survey where European citizens pointed as their main concern the immigration, along with terrorism and unemployment. Managing migration is at the top of our list of problems, and the EU budget must reflect that priority, he said adding that it is time for a paradigm shift. According to him, the right of asylum, solidarity and the obligation to save human lives form part of European founding values. But that does not mean that we should not take firm steps to combat illegal immigration, he opined. EP President also noted that in 2015 and 2016 alone, 2.5 million people have applied for asylum in the EU and that the current system of burden sharing has failed.
In his speech, EC President Jean-Claude Juncker urged that solidarity is not a one-way street and every country must take its fair share of responsibility, and “if there are some who refuse, the Commission must also honour its own responsibilities.” He also reflected on the fact that some national asylum systems are more generous than others and this encourages 'asylum shopping'. We all saw too vividly how the current system cannot cope under pressure, he pointed out.
On her part, Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security put her finger on the dangerous journey migrants undertake to reach EU shores. I always felt ashamed of the deaths that the EU pretended not to see for so many years, she said emphasising that she feels proud of the EU saving lives at the sea.
During the conference and the round tables, there were discussed as well problems like promoting integration, addressing irregular migration and implementing return decisions.
Enhancing third countries’ capacity building in border management and asylum, securing the Schengen area and preserving freedom of movement were also debated.
Saying that the Dublin regulation as it exists has proven that it cannot stand the test of time, Dimitris Avramopoulos, EU commissioner for migration, home affairs and citizenship,
asserted that there is need for a new, more equitable Dublin, where the redistribution of responsibility is inherent to the system. He asserted that it is necessary to have an EU framework on resettlement, which will establish a common approach to safe and legal avenues to the European Union for persons in need of international protection.