Refugees arriving in the EU should go through asylum procedures directly at the bloc’s external borders, according to Berlin’s newly hammered-out position, which also foresees the relocation of migrants between EU countries.
While inter-institutional talks on the EU’s Migration and Asylum Pact have been ongoing between EU ministers and the European Parliament for about a month, Germany’s three-party government only agreed to a joint position over the weekend.
The coalition agreed on the set of laws proposed by the European Commission, Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD, S&D) confirmed on Sunday evening.
According to Faeser, Berlin will push for “asylum procedures” to be put in motion “at the EU’s external borders” before asylum seekers enter a respective country.
“This means that the registration and recording and identification of the refugees will already take place there,” she explained on German public TV.
Migrants could be kept at the EU border for up to 12 weeks while this process is underway, she added.
At the same time, the German government will push for other EU member states to show solidarity and take over asylum seekers from frontline countries like Greece or Italy.
While Faeser left key questions open, such as whether regular asylum procedures or just first checks would be completed at the external borders, the coalition’s compromise seems to reflect the Commission’s proposals on the matter roughly.
The EU executive had also proposed tougher checks at external borders, combined with a mechanism of solidarity between EU countries when it comes to migrant distribution.
Meanwhile, Faeser showed herself hopeful that talks on the reform package could be concluded before the European election in the spring of 2024. “We now see a historic momentum,” she said.
EU Commission optimistic on asylum pact approval
The European Commission is optimistic it will finalise the reform package on the ‘thorny’ topic of asylum before next year’s European elections, though experts on the matter are not as positive.
(Julia Dahm | EURACTIV.de)
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