European asylum policy: rehabilitating solidarity
Recent years have been marked by the significant deficiency of the asylum policy and a cruel lack of solidarity within the European Union (EU). The rules that were enacted almost 30 years ago, as formalized in the current Dublin regulation, have proved to be inefficient. Leaving the responsibility of the assessment of asylum seekers applications to the sole Member States of the first entry, equates to delegating to EU border states (Italy, Greece, Hungary, etc.) the responsibility of coping politically, administratively and operationally with the growing migration flows, resulting from multiple humanitarian and geopolitical crises. Such an increase in the number of asylum seekers was not anticipated when the foundations for current European procedures were laid. As a result, when the number of applications for asylum skyrocketed, frontline countries were largely abandoned, including by France, which even took the decision to close the Franco-Italian border.
This situation led to the political division of Europe and to its distancing from the values at the very core of the European project: solidarity and respect for individual rights and international commitments. This is what must be fixed, starting with the thorough revision of the European right to asylum. Terra Nova and Institut Montaigne, two prominent French think tanks, have decided to join forces to formulate proposals on this issue in the following months. In the meantime, they have chosen to publicly express their position on the matter, without delay, on the eve of the European Council of 28 and 29 June 2018, in this policy paper, based on three main principles :
- There can be no exception to solidarity, an essential principle for the EU
- The fortress of « safe third countries » is incompatible with our values and ineffective in the long term
- The time has come for Europe to define a balanced and ambitious migration policy