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Jean Lambert London's Green MEP

Proposed new EU asylum rules fall short of solidarity needed

Refugees Welcome march, London (Credit. Redorbital/Demotix/Corbis)

4th May 2016

A new system of more shared responsibility for asylum applications among European Union countries has been put forward today by the European Commission.  The proposal reinforces the current failures in the system and will not give more certainty and hope to desperate people, according to Greens migration spokesperson, Jean Lambert MEP.

The European Commission has proposed to maintain the current system – known as the ‘Dublin Regulation’ – under which the country in which an asylum seeker first arrives is responsible for processing their asylum application. This system has reached breaking point in Greece and Italy where most people coming into Europe first arrive.

The United Kingdom will have the choice to opt-out of the proposed system.

Reacting to today’s proposals, Jean Lambert MEP, Greens migration spokesperson said:

“The current EU asylum system is broken and does not work either for EU member states or those caught up in the asylum process. A new system, based on solidarity and responsibility-sharing between member states is needed, but the Commission has reinforced the current failing rules.

“With no trust in the current system, there is a need to take much greater account of asylum seekers’ preferences and existing ties, otherwise asylum seekers will continue to take dangerous routes and use people smugglers.

“The UK and some other governments will fight for their right to return asylum seekers to other countries but in reality few people are sent back. The UK has a moral responsibility to do more, as the dramatic situations in Greece and Italy underline, and the government should put in place the funding local councils need to welcome families fleeing war and persecution, to help them to integrate and build new lives.

“The European Union is absolutely the right place for governments to work together to deal with urgent cross-border issues like migration. The European Parliament now has a major responsibility to transform this proposal into something that shows solidarity for asylum seekers and the Member States most affected.”


Read ‘The Green Alternative to the Dublin System