Former Commissioner for Regional Policy and member of the European Parliament, Corina Crețu, has pushed both the EU Commission and the European Court of Auditors to present their solutions to overpass the deadlock of the asylum procedures in Greece and Italy.
The latter have suffered the most of the impact of vast migration waves and asylum applications from the Middle East and North Africa region and despite having increased the capacities of their authorities and having received the largest amounts of EU migration funds, the implementation of asylum procedures in their territories is still affected by long processing times and bottlenecks.
The Romanian MEP in her intervention at the Budgetary Control Committee’s meeting in the European Parliament, expressed her disappointment over the conclusions of the Special Report made by ECA, which demonstrated the disparities between the objectives of EU support and the results achieved.
Creçu also asked whether the current status of the implementation of the asylum procedures in Greece and Italy are due to the imprecise legislative framework, the nature of the migration situation or due to insufficient application by member states.
According to the report “EU information systems supporting border control – a strong tool, but more focus needed on timely and complete data”, the main reason behind the asylum process deadlock are the length of time required to process asylum cases, insufficient capacity in detention centres and the difficulties in cooperating with the migrant’s country of origin and migrants’ secret escape once the “refoulement” decision is taken.
After the creation of the Schengen area foreseeing the abolishment of border checks, the need for effective control and surveillance of its external borders has aroused.
To respond to the unprecedented levels of migration resulting in an significant increase in asylum applications, the European Union allocated €160 million for the 2014-2020 multiannual financial framework (MFF), while total allocations for the Emergency Assistance and Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund reached €1.1 billion up until the 2019 annual work programme (AWP).
To this end, EU set up information systems and common frameworks for exchange of information, such as the Schengen Information System (SIS II), the Visa Information System (VIS), Eurodac (European Asylum Dactyloscopy Database – Fingerprint comparison system), as well as the European Border Surveillance System (Eurosur) and the Passenger Name Record systems (PNR).