The asylum process should be handled directly at the border and deportations will be simplified. “Fundamental rights will not be touched,” assured EU Commissioner Ylva Johansson, who is responsible for migration.
For weeks several thousand migrants have been trying to get from Belarus, some of them by force, across the EU’s external borders to Poland or the Baltic states. The EU accuses the authoritarian Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko of targeting people from crisis regions to Minsk in order to smuggle them into the EU. The migrants are even said to be armed and drugged.
The proposal of the EU Commission now provides that authorities in the border countries have longer time to register asylum applications – four weeks instead of a maximum of ten days – and that registrations only take place at certain border crossings. This would also make it possible to examine almost all asylum applications directly at the border. In addition, the commission wants to allow easier and faster deportations, reports “Welt”.
The measures should initially apply for six months. To do this, the Member States still have to adopt the Commission’s proposal. The European Parliament is unlikely to vote on it. Human rights organizations criticized the announcement. “This proposal weakens the fundamental rights of asylum seekers,” said Erin McKay of Oxfam. “Stopping, arresting and criminalizing people who seek protection in Europe violates international law and European asylum law.”