Insurmountable borders on the outside, deprivation of rights of protection seekers on the inside: That is what the new European asylum policy looks like. Photo: Reuters/Laszio Balogh.

In the EU Parliament and the Council negotiations about the comprehensive reform of the so-called „Common European Asylum System“ on the basis of proposals from the EU Commission are beginning to take place. PRO ASYL has analyzed Brussels‘ proposals and the findings are devastating: It`s a program geared towards weakening refugees‘ rights in Europe

The over­ri­ding aim of the Commission‘s pro­po­sals in the »EU asyl­um packa­ge« is to make it har­der for pro­tec­tion see­kers to arri­ve in Euro­pe and in the har­s­hest man­ner to pre­vent the move­ment of asyl­um see­kers and refu­gees wit­hin Euro­pe. The EU Com­mis­si­on plans to amend the fol­lowing legal acts:

Dublin IV Regulation

The Dub­lin Regu­la­ti­on deter­mi­nes which EU mem­ber sta­te is respon­si­ble for car­ry­ing out the asyl­um pro­ce­du­re. The pro­vi­si­ons wit­hin the Dub­lin Regu­la­ti­on will be signi­fi­cant­ly tigh­te­ned. Refu­gees arri­ving from a »safe coun­try of ori­gin« or via a »safe third coun­try« will due to the pro­po­sed inad­mis­si­bi­li­ty pro­ce­du­res no lon­ger have the pos­si­bi­li­ty to have their asyl­um case examined.

The huma­ni­ta­ri­an scope of action for the mem­ber sta­tes is to be severely restric­ted as the Com­mis­si­on pro­po­ses to eli­mi­na­te bin­ding dead­lines and to under­mi­ne the so-cal­led sov­er­eig­n­ty clau­se. It will fur­ther be made pos­si­ble to deny pro­tec­tion see­kers the mini­mum phy­si­cal sub­sis­tence level in order to enfor­ce the com­pul­so­ry trans­fer of asyl­um seekers.

Reception Directive

The Recep­ti­on Direc­ti­ve regu­la­tes the social recep­ti­on con­di­ti­ons for asyl­um see­kers. It will con­ti­nue as a direc­ti­ve but will be severely tigh­te­ned. Free­dom of move­ment of asyl­um see­kers will be pre­ven­ted by an even more strin­gent resi­dence obli­ga­ti­on wit­hin mem­ber sta­tes. If asyl­um see­kers refu­se to adhe­re to the limi­ta­ti­ons of their free­dom of move­ment they can be sub­ject to imprisonment.

The­se regu­la­ti­ons which will exclu­de cer­tain pro­tec­tion see­kers com­ple­te­ly from being gran­ted any ade­qua­te mate­ri­al recep­ti­on are incom­men­sura­ble with human dignity.

Qualification Regulation

The Qua­li­fi­ca­ti­on Regu­la­ti­on defi­nes com­mon stan­dards for gran­ting inter­na­tio­nal pro­tec­tion. The direc­ti­ve is to beco­me a regu­la­ti­on. This ent­ails that the mem­ber sta­tes will be pro­hi­bi­ted from app­ly­ing a more favor­able prac­ti­ce for gran­ting inter­na­tio­nal pro­tec­tion than pro­scri­bed in the Qua­li­fi­ca­ti­on Regu­la­ti­on. The result is a har­mo­niz­a­ti­on based on the lowest com­mon denominator.

Asylum Procedures Regulation

The Asyl­um Pro­ce­du­res Direc­ti­ve con­tains gene­ral rules regar­ding asyl­um pro­ce­du­res. It is also to beco­me a regu­la­ti­on. One cen­tral chan­ge­with seve­re con­se­quen­ces for the pro­tec­tion of asyl­um see­kers in Euro­pe inclu­des the soon-to-be com­mon Euro­pean list of »safe coun­tries of ori­gin«. Fur­ther­mo­re, very short dead­lines will be intro­du­ced threa­tening to under­mi­ne the legal pro­tec­tion of pro­tec­tion seekers.

Resettlement Regulation

For the very first time on the Euro­pean level a com­mon bin­ding regu­la­ti­on which deter­mi­nes the recep­ti­on of refu­gees from third coun­tries (resett­le­ment) will be adopted.

The pro­blem with this new regu­la­ti­on is that it aims to struc­tu­ral­ly rule out spon­ta­ne­ous escape. For examp­le tho­se refu­gees who in the last five years have moved into an EU mem­ber sta­te in an irre­gu­lar fashion are to be exclu­ded from resettlement.

Restrictive approach instead of serious reform

The Commission‘s pro­po­sals exem­pli­fy pre­cise­ly the approach of a »Club of the Unwil­ling« – they sug­gest far-reaching con­trol of refu­gee move­ments to Euro­pe, not­with­stan­ding the glo­bal rea­li­ty and the real huma­ni­ta­ri­an cata­stro­phe in the immedia­te neigh­bo­ring regi­on of the EU.

The mise­ra­ble poli­ti­cal fail­u­re of the Euro­pean Uni­on regar­ding the recep­ti­on of refu­gees should have mar­ked a new begin­ning for refu­gee poli­cy in the EU – a serious reform of the unfair and inhu­man Dub­lin system.

Ins­tead, the Commission‘s pro­po­sals almost exclu­si­ve­ly fol­low a restric­ti­ve approach – it repres­ents the Orba­ni­sa­ti­on of Euro­pean asyl­um poli­cy: Through insur­moun­ta­ble bor­ders on the out­side, depri­va­ti­on of rights of pro­tec­tion see­kers on the insi­de, the right to asyl­um in Euro­pe is effec­tively hol­lo­wed out.

Disastrous consequences for refugees in Europe

The draft for the new »asyl­um packa­ge«, if agreed upon, would have dis­astrous con­se­quen­ces for asyl­um see­kers and refu­gees in Euro­pe. To date it is merely a pro­po­sal by the EU Com­mis­si­on, which holds a right of initia­ti­ve for Euro­pean legis­la­ti­on. But legal acts are resol­ved on the Euro­pean level by the Coun­cil and the Euro­pean Parliament.

Protest is urgently needed!

In this situa­ti­on pro­test from civil socie­ty against this rene­wed tigh­tening of the right of asyl­um is urgent­ly necessa­ry. It is important to make the out­cry against Brussels‘ pro­po­sals heard.

The tem­pla­te for chan­ges to the Dub­lin Sys­tem is being rejec­ted by all rele­vant human rights orga­niz­a­ti­ons in Euro­pe. Now is the time for civil socie­ty to clear­ly com­mu­ni­ca­te this cri­ti­cism to their par­lia­men­ta­ri­ans in the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment and the Ger­man Bundestag!