For our final project, everyone in our class had to pick a topic about the European Union and research it. After this we had to present our findings in a research paper. For my topic, I decided to pick what response has the EU and its states had to immigration, such as the laws and regulations they have created for immigration.
Today in the world, immigration is a big topic for any country. For a majority of the EU, immigration is looked at as a problem. Right now, the biggest problem with immigration to the EU is fear, people in the EU are afraid of the immigrants that are coming into their home and causing terror. Now the major majority of immigrants are innocent people traveling to the EU for jobs, asylum, or to meet with family that have already immigrated. But, for most immigrants when they are trying to enter a EU country they don’t have any paper work, nothing to verify who they are and why they have left their country. This lack of information scares the EU population because this could allow for a terrorist to enter their country and cause harm to people.
Today, there are regulations and laws that have been put in place to try to manage who in the EU should be held responsible for certain immigrants and to equally distribute the responsibility for these immigrants. One of these regulations is called the Dublin Regulation. This is an EU law that determines which EU member state holds the responsibility to process applications for asylum seekers looking for international protection under the Geneva Convention and the EU Qualification Directive. The Dublin Regulation determines what state should be responsible for an asylum applicant this includes handling the transfer of that applicant to the responsible state. One of the big problems that the Dublin Regulation was created to prevent was stopping applicants from submitting applications to multiple EU states. It was also created to stop asylum seekers from moving from one member states to another. The Country that the applicant submits the first application to, must be the country that either can accept or denied their claim. Once this is done that asylum seeker cannot restart the process over again in another EU state.
Today the Dublin Regulation has some criticisms, specifically from European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) and UNHCR, they say that this system fails to give fair, efficient, and effective protection to asylum seekers. Transfers under the regulation would sometimes break apart families and not allow asylum seekers to appeal their transferal. The reason it is inefficient is because the majority of applicants seek asylum in a different country than the one they first arrived in. Eurostat and Frontex have statistics, claiming that “only 64,625 of the 170,000 irregular arrivals in Italy sought asylum there” (Mascareñas). The reason why people don’t always seek asylum in the country they arrive and, if they do, why they apply again in another country is because the criteria used to assign responsibility under the Dublin Regulation doesn’t match with what the applicants actually want. Just because asylum seekers are running away from their country, doesn’t mean they don’t care where they end up.
Another problem that arose with the Dublin Regulation was transfer requests. The member states that found themselves sending a large amount of transfer requests, would end up receiving a large amount of transfer requests. One example of this was in 2013, “Germany sent 1,380 requests to Sweden and received 947 back” (Mascareñas). To stop this from happening, the European Commission proposed a mechanism that would allow “redundant” transfers between states to be cancelled. However, this idea has not been added to either Dublin II or Dublin III. Meaning, that the European Union I still dedicating a large number of resources to move these asylum seekers between states with little effect on distribution.
Today, many of the rules in place to deal with immigration in the EU are meant to look out for both the EU and immigrants’ best interests. However, such rules like the Dublin Regulation, are taken advantage of and used to help benefit particular EU states, while hurting other states and more importantly hurting immigrants. Right now, there needs to be changes made so that member states are more unified and have a common goal. That is why reforming these rules is important and is a step in the right direction for the EU.
Garcés-Mascareñas, Blanca. “Why Dublin “Doesn’t Work”.” CIDOB. Fundación CIDOB, Nov. 2015. Web. 22 Apr. 2017. <http://www.cidob.org/en/publications/publication_series/notes_internacionals/n _135_por_que_dublin_no_funciona/why_dublin_doesn_t_work>.