Brussels, 4 May 2016
Towards a sustainable and fair Common European Asylum System
Today the European Commission is presenting proposals to reform the Common European Asylum System by creating a fairer, more efficient and more sustainable system for allocating asylum applications among Member States. The basic principle will remain the same – asylum seekers should, unless they have family elsewhere, apply for asylum in the first country they enter – but a new fairness mechanism will ensure no Member State is left with a disproportionate pressure on its asylum system. Today’s proposals also include transforming the existing European Asylum Support Office (EASO) into a fully-fledged European Union Agency for Asylum to reflect its enhanced role in the new system and reinforcing of the EU’s fingerprinting database, Eurodac, in order to better manage the asylum system and to help tackle irregular migration.
First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said: “Managing migration better requires action on several fronts, to manage our external borders more effectively, cooperate better with third countries, put an end to smuggling and resettle refugees directly to the EU. We also know that people will keep arriving at our borders and ask for asylum, and we will need to make sure those who need protection receive it. Yet we have seen during this crisis how just a few Member States were placed under incredible strain because of the shortcomings of the present system, which was not designed to deal with situations of this kind. There’s simply no way around it: whenever a Member State is overwhelmed, there must be solidarity and a fair sharing of responsibility within the EU. This is what our proposal of today is meant to ensure.“
Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs, Dimitris Avramopoulos, said: “If the current refugee crisis has shown one thing, it is that the status quo of our Common European Asylum System is not an option. The time has come for a reformed and more equitable system, based on common rules and a fairer sharing of responsibility. With the proposed reform of the Dublin system, the reinforcement of Eurodac and the transformation of EASO into a true European Agency for Asylum, today we are taking a major step in the right direction and putting in place the European-level structures and tools necessary for a future-proof comprehensive system. We will now put all our efforts into working side-by-side with the European Parliament and Member States. We must turn these proposals into reality as swiftly as possible.“
Today’s proposals are part of a first set of legislative proposals the Commission is presenting in the context of a major reform of the Common European Asylum System, as outlined in the Commission’s Communication of 6 April 2016. This reform is intended to form the medium term response to future migratory challenges. In the meantime, existing Dublin rules and the two emergency relocation decisions continue to apply and will be enforced by the Commission to the full…