Deal after long dispute: EU Parliament approves asylum reform

European governments want to know who is coming to Europe. They want to control it even more strictly than before – and above all they want to make sure that fewer people come. Asylum procedures should be standardized and shortened and, if possible, take place at external borders. Also, deportations should be facilitated. All this is the aim of the new Asylum and Migration Agreement.

The agreement is actually a set of regulations and laws that have been discussed with varying degrees of intensity since the 2015/2016 refugee crisis. It now covers hundreds of pages and covers all possible aspects from registration of refugees, data storage of minors, construction of camps at outer borders.

These camps are intended to house people who are unlikely to be recognized as refugees. People from recently arrived countries and, so to speak, those with a low official recognition rate – including children and minors who travel with families rather than alone.

Reuters/Elias Marco

The Moria camp on Lesbos served as a model for some and a stumbling block for others

Refugee camps in the external borders remain controversial

Human rights organizations fear the worst. Restriction of the right to asylum and inhumane conditions in camps inside or outside EU borders, possibly in a third country with which a European government or EU has fully contracted.

The deal's crisis mechanism, which allows the government to declare a crisis if the number of refugees rises sharply, has also drawn sharp criticism. In this case, people can also be held in camps where there is a high probability of being recognized as refugees.

According to the agreement, the stay in such camps should not exceed 24 weeks. By then, the asylum procedure, which will be completed quickly in the future according to the plan, should be finally completed and completed. If the result is negative, the person concerned is always sent back if there is a contract.

Meeting at the European Union Parliament in Brussels

APA/AFP/John Theis

The EU Parliament voted for the reform and approval by governments is considered a formality

After the agreement Before the agreement

Parties in the EU Parliament eventually approved asylum reform with a majority, but they disagreed. Every party group from the political center has MPs skeptical of regulation and against it: the Christian Democrats, the Liberals, the Social Democrats and the Greens. Only representatives of right-wing parties such as the FPÖ and the far left voted unanimously against it. For each, many questions remain unanswered and will only be resolved in the next few years.

Much of the agreement has only been agreed in principle, but has yet to be designed and implemented: future solidarity, for example, which refers to burden sharing. EU countries with external borders should not feel that they are being left out. Of course, there are no plans for forced distribution of refugees. Union learned.

Landlocked countries can express their solidarity differently in the future. By strengthening border guards, for example, by helping to accommodate people or by contributing financially. It will be up to the Commission to formulate a procedure. Hungary has already announced that it will do no such thing.

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