Europe in crisis (of asylum) (Myria)
In this study, Myria, the Federal Migration Centre, closely looks at the reaction of Europe regarding the unusual situation of refugees in 2015 and 2016 and more particularly from a fundamental rights point of view.
In 2015, the number of applications for asylum registered and the number of protection status offered has significantly increased compare to the year 2014. However, there is a major difference in the distribution between the EU Member States.
After having drawn a state of play of the current situation in Europe regarding the refugees, Myria, closely looks at two central elements, from a fundamental rights point of view, in the way the EU has managed the refugees crisis: one the one hand, the establishment of “hotspots” and on the other hand, the conclusion of the EU-Turkey deal.
With the massive arrival of refugees in Europe, the EU has decided to establish “hotspots”, places, at the external frontier of the EU, facing a “specific and disproportionate” migration pressure. The member states concerned benefit from a support to manage the “mixt” migration flows. Simultaneously, in July and September 2015, a deal has been found on ad-hoc measures aiming at allocate from the hotspots the refugees in the UE by a resettlement mechanism. This mechanism is a derogation from the Dublin Agreement that says that the member state by which the refugee enters is the state responsible for the treatment of the asylum application. The measures foresee the resettlement of 160.000 people in total on a period of time of two years.
To invest in effective controls and registrations of newcomers at the external frontier is a logical and legitimate choice for a region of the world that wants to delete its internal frontiers. However, according to Myria, the absolute condition to this is that this control must be “sensitive” to the needs of protection and compliant with the fundamental rights. Yet, these centres must operate a fast selection between the people who need and the ones who do not need protection. This led apparently to refuse some applicants without an in-depth examination of their file.
From autumn 2015, the UE made a lot of efforts to reduce the flows of migrants and refugees. It intensified its collaboration with third countries. Thus, on 18 April 2016, the EU-Turkey deal emerged. The EU saw in Turkey the key partner to resolve the current crisis. By collaborating with Turkey, the EU wishes that a maximum of asylum applicants and migrants stay in Turkey. From a fundamental rights point of view, Myria considers as problematic in the current situation to consider Turkey as a safe first asylum country or a safe third country.
Finally, seeing all these difficulties, Myria ends its study by making several recommendations.
The complete study is available in French and Dutch (see attached).