German Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer calls for a reform of the European asylum system. According to the plans of the German politician, those seeking protection should be able to be rejected at the EU's external borders.
Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer wants to push ahead with plans for fundamental reform of the European asylum system. "Migration policy is the central domestic issue of the European Union. We need a new beginning for migration policy in Europe," the politician said on Sunday.
A robust procedure must be created in order to be able to carry out an initial examination of requests for protection before entering Europe. The protection of the EU's external borders urgently needed to be improved by strengthening the border management agency Frontex. His ministry formulated a key point paper on this issue, which was submitted to the German Press Agency.
Preventing further migration within the EU
The Ministry of the Interior proposes a reform of the Common European Asylum System to prevent the unauthorized onward migration of migrants. It calls for a mandatory preliminary examination of asylum applications already at the external borders and the payment of social benefits only in the responsible EU member state.
According to Seehofer, the Dublin system must be replaced by creating fixed responsibilities for the examination of applications for protection. "Unauthorised onward migration within Europe must also be effectively prevented". At the G6 meeting in Munich, he had presented ideas for a new approach to his fellow interior ministers and had received a great deal of support from all. He had asked his ministry to elaborate these considerations further and to involve the partners at the working level.
EU asylum agency to examine applications
The paper states that a future EU asylum agency should gradually take over the preliminary checks at the EU's external borders. "Obviously inadmissible or unfounded applications should be rejected directly at the external border. In such cases, no entry into the EU is allowed."
The preliminary examination should be carried out within a few weeks. If necessary, "freedom-restricting measures" should be taken to ensure that the person wishing to enter the EU does not evade this. The rejection of an application and the subsequent rejection should be "a uniform decision".
75 percent of all asylum applications in five EU countries
As far as possible, social benefits should be financed EU-wide, but "indexed" - i.e. adjusted to the different costs of living in the Member States. The aim is "relative equality" of social benefits in the EU.
In 2018, 75 percent of all applications for international protection were submitted in only five member states, according to the report. Measured in terms of the number of inhabitants, the burdens in the member states varied in some cases by more than 300 times. Nevertheless, only three percent of all asylum applications in the EU are transferred to the Member State originally responsible.
Model Königsteiner system
According to the proposals, a planned EU asylum agency would determine the Member State responsible for the asylum procedure and take the final decision. The overriding principle must be that the burden should be shared equally between all Member States in relative terms. This should be achieved by taking into account the population and economic strength of the Member States ("fair share"). Such an approach exists in Germany with the so-called "Königsteiner system".
The expectation: With a fair division of responsibilities, for the first time all EU states have a common interest in effectively preventing secondary migration, i.e. further migration within the Community to a state of their choice. It could not be that within the EU the responsibility for an asylum procedure was examined several times or even changed by the passing of deadlines.
Those who nevertheless enter illegally should be deported
"Parallel asylum procedures in the several Member States are no longer allowed", they say. Applications - including confirmatory and subsequent applications - in a Member State with no jurisdiction would have to be "unbureaucratically rejected as manifestly inadmissible".
If a person is apprehended who has not passed a preliminary check at the external border and is not registered, he must not benefit from his illegal entry. "In such cases of apprehension, an accelerated procedure with the scope of a preliminary check must, therefore, be carried out immediately on the spot. As at the EU's external border, the Member State responsible is either rejected or returned or designated to carry out the asylum procedure.
Francis Tawiah (Duisburg - Germany)
Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not neccessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."
Reproduction is authorised provided the author's permission is granted.