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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 16-05-04

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Timmermans: Dublin system doesn't work because frontline member-states have been left alone
  • [02] Commissioner Avramopoulos says new asylum system to be 'fairer, more efficient and sustainable'
  • [03] ND leader praises work for Opera House, library at Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center

  • [01] Timmermans: Dublin system doesn't work because frontline member-states have been left alone

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/C. Vasilaki) - The Dublin system does not function because the countries on the frontline of the refugee crisis have been left alone to deal with the problem, First Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans, said on Wednesday during a joint press conference with Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos in Brussels on the reform of the EC's Common European Asylum System.

    "The reason why Greece and Italy were unable to meet their obligations arising from Dublin, was that for years they asked other member-states to show solidarity to a problem they encountered, but the only answer they got was 'Dublin'," he said. "Dublin doesn't work because the member-states on the forefront have been left alone to manage the problem. There has to be a distribution of the weight."

    He also said that if a country does not want to relocate asylum applicants, it will need to support financially those who do as an act of "economic solidarity".

    Timmermans also acknowledged that some countries will not like the Commission's proposal however he insisted that the Dublin system need to be reformed. "If there is no solidarity here, in a short period of time there will be no solidarity elsewhere, in other areas. And that will be a huge blow to the European project," he added.

    [02] Commissioner Avramopoulos says new asylum system to be 'fairer, more efficient and sustainable'

    European Commission presented proposals on Wednesday to reform the Common European Asylum System by creating "a fairer, more efficient and more sustainable system" for allocating asylum applications among member-states, the Commission said in a press release.

    According to Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs, Dimitris Avramopoulos, the current refugee crisis showed that the existing system didn't work and needed to be transformed into a system that distributed responsibility.

    "The time has come for a reformed and more equitable system, based on common rules and a fairer sharing of responsibility. With the proposed reform of the Dublin system, the reinforcement of Eurodac and the transformation of EASO into a true European Agency for Asylum, today we are taking a major step in the right direction and putting in place the European-level structures and tools necessary for a future-proof comprehensive system," Avramopoulos said, adding the Commission will now work with the European Parliament and member-states to "turn these proposals into reality as swiftly as possible."

    The proposals include a corrective allocation mechanism which will automatically establish when a country is handling a disproportionate number of asylum applications. It will do this by reference to a country's size and wealth. If one country is receiving disproportionate numbers above and beyond that reference (over 150% of the reference number), all further new applicants in that country will - regardless of nationality - be relocated, after an admissibility verification of their application, across the EU until the number of applications is back below that level.

    A member-state will also have the option to temporarily not take part in the reallocation, but will then have to make a solidarity contribution of 250,000 euros for each applicant for whom it would otherwise have been responsible under the fairness mechanism, to the member-state that is reallocated the person instead.

    The fairness mechanism will also factor in the effort being made by a member-state to resettle those in need of international protection direct from a third country. This will acknowledge the importance of efforts to implement legal and safe pathways to Europe.

    The new system will have shorter time limits for sending transfer requests, receiving replies and carrying out transfers of asylum seekers between member-states, and removing shifts of responsibility.

    It will discourage abuses and secondary movements with clearer legal obligations for asylum applicants, including a duty to remain in the member-state responsible for their claim, geographic limits to the provision of material reception benefits and proportionate consequences in case of non-compliance.

    The EC said it will also protect asylum seekers' best interests with stronger guarantees for unaccompanied minors and a balanced extension of the definition of family members.

    [03] ND leader praises work for Opera House, library at Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center

    The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center is a legacy of culture and knowledge for Athens, New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Wednesday during a tour of the Center's construction site in southern Athens.

    "It is a truly remarkable project which will allow tens of thousands of Athenians and citizens from around the world to enjoy the unique services of a sophisticated library and access to the unique hall of the new Opera," he said after the tour.

    Mitsotakis also said it is everyone's duty to preserve this unique project which reinforces the image of Athens in the global cultural map and thanked the Stavros Niarchos Foundation for "this extremely generous donation" it is making to the Greek State.


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