EU to propose fines for countries that refuse asylum burden
The European Union’s executive has proposed hefty fees for EU capitals that do nt take in asylum seekers from overburdened member states, media reported.
The proposals, amid an effort to spread refugees more evenly across the bloc, were aimed at reforming the EU’s asylum system, which broke down under the pressure of 2015’s migration surge into Europe.
It said that under the so-called Dublin rules, refugees must register their claim of asylum in the first EU member state they reach, and that country should then decide on their request.
The report said that for most of the over 1 million people reaching the bloc in 2015, the first EU member state reached would have been Greece.
However Athens, overwhelmed by the arrivals, allowed many of them to continue unchecked towards wealthy, northern European states such as Germany and Sweden.
According to proposals the European Commission is due to present on Wednesday, in the future, a corrective fairness mechanism will kick in whenever any member state experiences a significant surge in arrivals.
According to a distribution key, this mechanism would foresee the distribution of asylum seekers to other member states.
The media report said that those who refused to participate could be fined 250,000 Euros (287,000 dollars) per rejected applicant.
It added that the money would go to those countries that end up processing the asylum requests.
“The proposal would, however, keep in place the Dublin criterion under which asylum seekers file their request in their first country of arrival in the bloc,’’ it noted.
In April, the commission had also floated a more radical option, under which the Dublin system would be replaced by a central mechanism, assigning asylum
seekers to member states according to their size, wealth and absorption capacity.
Report says asylum issues are highly sensitive and have triggered a populist backlash in several member states.
Some Central European countries have refused attempts to make them take in refugees, while a one-off scheme to redistribute 160,000 asylum seekers within the bloc has barely taken off.