Germany has proposed an automatic relocation scheme for asylum seekers, after repeated calls for reforming EU’s Common European Asylum System (CEAS).
The German proposal is more of a consulting document than an official plan and suggests that asylum applications be examined at EU’s external borders. The distribution of asylum seekers to member-states will be made by EASO, EU’s agency for asylum, on the basis of “fair share”, considering each country’s its population and GDP.
Horst Seehofer, Germany’s interior minister from the Christian Democratic Party had proposed on October that asylum applicants undergo initial assessment at Europe’s external borders and be returned to their countries of origin from there. Seehofer also supported that only asylum seekers with prospects of receiving protection in Europe should be distributed among the group of “willing” EU countries, while measures should be taken to prevent “secondary movements”, meaning to stop asylum seekers moving illegally from one country to another.
Seehofer will present Germany’s plan on Monday and within the week, meetings will be held in Berlin with EU member countries.
Germany was among the countries considering an automatic relocation system for asylum seekers, citing the disproportion of responsibility among EU member states. EU’s previous attempts to impose mandatory quotas of refugees had six countries, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, and Italy citing the Commission’s incompliance with the principle of subsidiarity.
President Emmanuel Macron had announced on July, after the Justice and Home Affairs Council held in Helsinki and EU’s “failure” to agree on a common framework, that 14 countries had agreed to participate in an automatic relocation scheme that would replace the EU compulsory relocation mechanism. Yet, only six of them had an active role; the Franco-German duet, Luxembourg, Portugal, Finland, Lithuania, Ireland and Croatia.
EU Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen is expected to present her migration package in February, while Germany is already preparing for taking over the EU council Presidency in the second half of 2020.