Following a meeting of the European Council at the end of last week, there appears to be no progress in reforming the Common European Asylum System. Efforts to reform have been on hold for many months. Especially the disagreement on the reform of the 'Dublin System' has remained unsolvable to date. The Dublin System determines which European state is responsible for examining an asylum application. Initially, it was thought that a Relocation mechanism could be included in any reform of the Dublin System, but the eastern European states are blocking this, as they are opposed to receiving more asylum seekers in this way. The European Council meeting last week didn't bring news of any progress towards a solution. In these circumstances it is therefore highly unlikely that there will be a new Relocation Program in the near future.
Instead, European leaders at the European Council meeting focused on taking further steps to fight against smuggling networks and to prevent illegal migration. Plans were made for a new task force which will better monitor and disrupt the online communication of smugglers and smuggling networks. The European Council also urged the European Parliament to examine a proposal to give more power and employees to the European Border and Coast Guard (FRONTEX).
Picture: Tauno Tõhk (EU2017EE)