The S&D Group says it is laying the groundwork for a solidarity-based response system in the EU’s common and asylum policy when faced with crisis situations.
In the draft report of the crisis regulation, LIBE chair and rapporteur Juan Fernando López Aguilar is proposing a new mandatory relocation framework to share responsibility and wants to introduce evacuation programmes to deal with emergency situations like in Belarus and Afghanistan. This proposal would avoid the instrumentalisation of migrants.
The draft report sets out the specific criteria that defines a crisis situation to avoid any legal ambiguity, as well as clear procedures and responsibilities for Member States and the Commission in organising relocation of asylum-seekers. For the S&D Group, shared borders mean shared responsibility, where no single country should be overburdened as a country of first entry. When Member States fail to relocate their fair share, the S&D Group proposes revising up that country’s contributions.
Juan Fernando López Aguilar, LIBE Chair and rapporteur for the Crisis and force majeure report, said: “The days are over when solidarity is the exception and not the rule. The crisis regulation is about making sure the EU is prepared in the face of unpredictable spikes in irregular migration into the EU and making sure no single country is alone in facing the challenges around any influx. We want to address emergency situations like we have seen recently in Belarus and Afghanistan and have urgent evacuation measures like humanitarian corridors and humanitarian visas in place to prevent further disasters.”
“When it comes to relocation, too often national governments are bending over backwards to avoid helping fellow Members. With new clear cut rules, we can end the ambiguity and put in place a crisis procedure that gives certainty and shares responsibility fairly among all Member States. When a country’s asylum, reception and returns system is no longer able to function properly, we will have an automatic procedure where all Member States step in and take responsibility for relocation. A new EU Relocation Coordinator should be appointed to represent the EU’s position throughout the process.”
The European Commission presented the Crisis Regulation as part of the New Pact on Migration in September 2020. The New Pact replaces parts of the previous Commission’s proposals for reform of the Common European Asylum System from 2016, including on border procedures and responsibility-sharing. The proposed Regulation sets up a system to cover exceptional situations or an imminent risk of an influx of third country nationals or stateless persons on a scale and nature that makes asylum, reception and return systems non-functional. The Crisis proposal repeals the Temporary Protection Directive, which has never been applied so far.