European Parliament aims to nix Dublin Reg first-entry rule

New text headed for approval, possible first vote on 19/10

04 October, 16:46

    STRASBOURG - The European Parliament is heading towards a common position on the reform of the Dublin Regulation on the right to asylum by modifying the European Commission proposal, which will then be negotiated with the European Council, according to text rapporteur MEP Cecilia Wikstrom.
    Wikstrom said she believes a text "with ample consensus" can be brought to the EP's Committee on Civil Liberties on October 19.
    "We abolished the principle by which the first country of entry must evaluate each individual who arrives," Wikstrom said of the EP proposal modifications.
    She said the proposal introduces an asylum-seeker quota system for each EU country based on the previous year, the country's GDP, and its population.
    When the country reaches its quota, asylum seekers would be automatically relocated through a system active in all EU countries to another EU country that would be required to handle the application for asylum.
    The EP's proposal differs from that of the European Commission in that it also adds a requirement that countries of first arrival must register all migrants who disembark in its territory and must apply a security check. The redistribution of asylum seekers exceeding national quotas of arrival countries would be a "randomized" process using a computer system, taking into consideration the quota levels reached by other European Union countries, Wikstrom said.
    She said, however, that she is "concerned" over the dossier's progress in the European Council, where EU member countries are not only a long ways from a negotiating position but "aren't even at the start".


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