Did you Know?

The European Commission is faced with solving an ever growing problem: the Migration Crisis. This crisis has reminded all EU Member States what the EU is based on – Unity, Solidarity and Harmony – which is the only way a problem can be truly solved. Member States failing to comply with the common asylum rules are faced with infringement proceedings.

EDC News: The European Migration Crisis

The European migration [refugee] crisis began in 2015 when a rising number of refugees and migrants (mainly from Syrian, Afghan and Iraqi) journeyed to the European Union (EU) seeking asylum. The crisis in the Mediterranean has put the spotlight on immediate needs, it has also revealed much about the structural limitations of EU migration policy and tools. For instance, Dublin Regulation states that all refugees had to stay in the state they first arrived in. This put enormous pressure on Member States that were already in trouble, e.g. Greece who is in the midst of an economic crisis was not able to cover so many refugees arriving at one time. This led to dire conditions for refugees and desperation on recipient islands.The EU needed to strike the right balance and send a clear message to Europeans that migration can be better managed collectively. Subsequently, President Juncker assembled the leaders of the countries concerned and most affected by the emergency situation along the Eastern Mediterranean-Western Balkans route. The leaders agreed on 17-point plan of action, which cover:

  • permanent exchange of information

  • limiting secondary movements

  • supporting refugees and providing shelter and rest

  • shared management of migration flows

  • border management

  • tackling smuggling and trafficking

Further ways that the EU practised solidarity for the management of the migration crisis was through: FundingRelocationResettlement; Hotspots; EU Civil Protection Mechanism.

New EU rules have now been agreed, setting out common high standards and stronger co-operation to ensure that asylum seekers are treated equally in an open and fair system:

  • The revised Asylum Procedures Directive aims at fairer, quicker and better quality asylum decisions, particularly for unaccompanied minors and victims of torture greater protection is offered.

  • The revised Reception Conditions Directive ensures that there are humane material reception conditions (such as housing) for asylum seekers across the EU and that the fundamental rights of the concerned persons are fully respected.

  • The revised Qualification Directive clarifies the grounds for granting international protection and therefore will make asylum decisions more robust. It will also improve the access to rights and integration measures for beneficiaries of international protection.

  • The revised Dublin Regulation (examination of applicants) enhances the protection of asylum seekers during the process of establishing the State responsible for examining the application, and clarifies the rules governing the relations between states.

  • The revised EURODAC Regulation (identification of applicants) will allow law enforcement access to the EU database of the fingerprints of asylum seekers under strictly limited circumstances in order to prevent, detect or investigate the most serious crimes, such as, murder and terrorism.

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