July 12, 2024

Asylum centers abroad – reworking the old idea

Asylum centers abroad – reworking the old idea


More and more European politicians are calling for checking whether someone has access to asylum through outsourcing to third countries. But the legal and practical uncertainties are significant.

Prime Minister of Italy Georgia Meloni She was literally beaming as she held the blue file in front of the cameras on Monday alongside Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama. This included an agreement that could be representative of the European migration conflict. In future, anyone rescued by Italian government ships in the Mediterranean will be transferred to Albania, where those requesting protection will undergo procedures in two newly created centres. At least that’s Meloni’s goal, given that more than 145,000 people will already arrive by sea from North Africa in 2023. Italy They are under increasing pressure.

Some politicians condemn the agreement between Albania and the southern European country in the European Union as a violation of international and European law. Others see the signed declaration of intent as a blueprint for the rest of the union. Could it really be a model for the future?

Some EU member states are calling for the Rwanda model to be followed

While European jurisdiction will continue to apply in the Albania example, some Member States have long been calling for the so-called Rwanda model at EU level, including Denmark or Ukraine. Austria. This envisages outsourcing asylum verification to Africa, where human rights should be respected according to the safe third country concept, but where EU law does not apply. The idea is not new and is not considered taboo in times of overcrowded schools and crowded municipalities. Recently, the Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, Hendrik Fust, among others, spoke in favor of seriously discussing asylum procedures outside Europe. After being arrested in Europe, refugees must be transported to partner countries along escape routes “so that procedures and protection there are conducted in accordance with the rule of law.”

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According to Green Party MEP Eric Marquardt, there is a simple reason why such proposals have never been implemented: “It never happened because we could not find any country interested in regulating European asylum policy.” Instead, it calls for “real and reasonable options for receiving refugees.” “Such as registration at external borders, better integration options, speeding up procedures or reducing the bureaucracy of work bans.

For Green MEP Marquard, it is a “far-fetched” idea.

But in Brussels, immigration hard-liners also demanded a tougher path during negotiations on reform of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS), which relies on deterrence and isolation. Accordingly, people who have little prospect of obtaining asylum in the community, for example if they come from India or Morocco, must be screened in a third country such as Rwanda and wait for deportation during the procedure, which can take up to 14 weeks. For Marquardt, it’s a “strange” idea. “In practice, we don’t even find relevant third countries receiving their citizens from Europe,” says the migration expert. How are countries supposed to “now suddenly be convinced to take in all the other refugees as well”?

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First and foremost, Germany resisted such plans in the 27th district and called for the so-called linking element. Therefore, the immigrant must have a connection to the country, for example because he has family there or has traveled across the state. Because Rwanda is not a transit country, this country seems to be the solution. specially, European Union Then first a deal worth millions with Tunisia’s authoritarian president, Kais Saied, so he can prevent migrants from cramming themselves onto boats and crossing to Europe. But so far this plan has not succeeded.

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Tony Blair actually wanted to establish asylum centers abroad

As early as 2004, then British Prime Minister Tony Blair suggested that migrants should be housed in centers outside the European Union in order for their asylum applications to be examined there. In keeping with this tradition, the current Conservative government in the United Kingdom is seeking to implement a plan to transfer migrants who entered illegally – regardless of their origin and without screening their applications – to Rwanda, where they are supposed to undergo this procedure. But such deals don’t just cost taxpayers a lot of money, critics point out. There are also legal obstacles. At the end of June 2023, the High Court in London ruled that deportations to Rwanda were unlawful because the country was not safe. However, such outsourcing is not fundamentally illegal, as a British Court of Appeal later found. Third countries should only be safe.

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