Yesterday in Luxembourg the Home Affairs Ministers of the EU met to discuss the Reform of the Dublin Regulation and the CEAS (Common European Asylum System). On the table was the proposal drafted by the European Parliament and the Council.
The discussion didn’t result in an effective decision and also created a rift between the Member States. There was a clear “no” to the reform from Italy and Spain, followed by the Visegrad group as well as Austria, Romania and Slovenia. Estonia, Poland and United Kingdom remained neutral. The other 18 countries allowed some opportunity for negotiation, including Greece, Cyprus and Malta, that consequently have broken the Mediterranean axis.
A proposal has been presented by the Bulgarian Presidency that has made the migration issue one of its main priorities for the Semester. Germany declared it was “open to a constructive discussion” on the proposal, but not able to accept it in its current form. Italy and Austria agree on their opposition to the present reform proposition.
The Bulgarian compromise followed the European Commission proposal but was against the will of Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia, who are asking for first entry countries to remain responsible for another eight years, instead of the two years asked by the southern members, Italy, Spain, Greece, Cyprus and Malta.
SOLIDAR and its members are convinced that the reform of the Dublin Regulation is a fundamental step in the reform of the European Asylum System. The reform replaces the principle of the first country of arrival with an automatic and permanent system of relocation of asylum seekers to all EU Member States. The reform of Dublin III is also a way to ensure the respect of fundamental rights and international law, and can facilitate access to equal opportunities. SOLIDAR insists that there be a prompt relaunch of the negotiations, as well as more cooperation and solidarity between the Member States, instead of the protection of national interests.