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New rules for refugees in the EU: the main thing about the reform

The heads of the Ministries of the Interior of the EU countries decided to radically change the procedure for granting asylum and temporary protection in the EU. DW explains the essence of the approved measures designed to drastically reduce the influx of illegal migrants.

The reform, approved by a majority vote on Thursday evening, June 8, at a conference of EU ministers of the interior and justice in Luxembourg, is a hard-won compromise. Poland and Hungary voted against, in principle not wanting to host refugees. Three countries abstained. Austria and the Netherlands demanded tougher measures. Germany, on the contrary, more indulgence and a more humane attitude towards families of illegal migrants with children.

Camps for migrants at the external borders of the European Union

The approved reform provides for the abolition of the current norm, according to which any foreigner who somehow finds himself in the EU can count on a thorough individual procedure for considering his application for asylum or temporary protection.

Henceforth, a preliminary centralized selection procedure will be carried out already at the external borders of the EU: illegal immigrants from countries whose citizens are now on average less than 20 percent of cases eligible to stay in the EU will be interned in special camps. They are provided with an accelerated procedure for consideration of applications for asylum and prompt deportation. They will not be considered as having entered the EU territory.

The same procedure is provided for citizens of states that are among the so-called "safe". That is, those in which, from the point of view of the EU, human rights are respected, the refugee convention and the principles of the rule of law are in force. Obviously, such countries as Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Turkey, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, as well as Moldova and Georgia will be considered as such.

"Transit" in the EU will be closed

Moreover. All other migrants arriving in the EU in transit through "safe" states will be completely deprived of the opportunity to apply for asylum: they will be sent back to the "safe" transit country immediately, as they did not enter the EU, so that they can apply for asylum to its authorities.

The term of detention in camps (without the possibility of leaving them) for refugees at the external borders of the EU, decided at a ministerial meeting in Luxembourg, "should not" exceed six months: 12 weeks for the consideration of applications and another 12 weeks for the deportation procedure.

Germany's attempt to get an exception to this rule for families with underage children - not to send them to camps - was not successful. The point of view prevailed that smugglers would not fail to take advantage of such an exception in order to send "families with young children" to the EU.

German beach on the Mediterranean

Last year (excluding Ukrainian refugees) about a million migrants from all over the world requested asylum in the EU countries. At the same time, the number of asylum seekers in Germany is still about twice as large as their number in France, and three times in Italy and Spain from month to month.

As a result of the hospitable gestures of former Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2015, Germany is still considered by many around the world to be the easiest target for asylum. And the living and financial conditions here, both for those awaiting a decision on their fate, and for those who have already received one or another residence status, are incomparably better than in most other EU countries.

Moreover, as the German government notes, 80 percent of the migrants who turned to the German authorities were not registered in any other EU country, although they obviously arrived here from the Mediterranean coast. Maybe, as Chancellor Olaf Scholz once joked, there is a stretch of German beach on the shore of this sea that no one knows about yet?

Forced Solidarity

From now on, all illegal migrants arriving in the EU will, firstly, be strictly registered if they pass through the external border of the EU, and, secondly, they will be distributed among countries in accordance with their population. This means, calculated in the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Germany, Germany will account for 21.56 percent of those seeking asylum in the EU.

From the need to accept a certain number of refugees, countries can, however, pay off. One unaccepted illegal immigrant will cost her treasury 22,000 euros. This, however, does not mean that each above the norm will be an increase in the budget of the host state. The "solidarity fine" can be paid in the form of a contribution to the strengthening of the border regime or the provision of its personnel for this purpose.

Who will not receive a "pass" to Europe

According to statistics maintained and published monthly by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF), the top ten countries whose citizens more often than 20% of cases receive protection or asylum in Germany were Eritrea (85.2% recognition rate), Syria (84.2%), Somalia (77.5%), Afghanistan (73.8%), Iran (27.2%) and Iraq (23) in May. .6%). But these are the countries from which the main flow of refugees to Europe comes. What about all the others? Citizens of what other countries have a chance to stay, for example, in Germany?

The BAMF press service was not very willing to share the relevant data with the DW correspondent, pointing out that a high percentage of recognition as a refugee is not yet an indicator. Indeed. For example, the share of recognition of Greek citizens as refugees in the first five months of this year was 100%! True, only one Greek applied to the German authorities during this period.

The countries, at least more than 100 citizens of which asked for asylum in Germany in May and with a recognition share of more than 20%, are Ethiopia, Guinea, Sudan, Yemen, Pakistan, Venezuela, China and Tajikistan. Consequently, illegal migrants from the vast majority of all other about 180 countries of the world will in fact not even have a theoretical opportunity to obtain refugee status in the European Union.

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