Magazine article European Social Policy

Immigration : Asylum: Some Member States Have More Work to Do Than Others

Magazine article European Social Policy

Immigration : Asylum: Some Member States Have More Work to Do Than Others

Article excerpt

The adoption of the EU's asylum package is no more than a formality: the Committee on Civil Liberties (LIBE) in the European Parliament adopted it "in 20 seconds" a few days ago. MEPs will vote on the matter in plenary session in June.

For Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom (home affairs), "this very important result," which comes in the middle of the financial crisis, shows that the EU "is still a place where one can request asylum with dignity". However, negotiations have been difficult, and "the increase in populist movements, some of which are openly xenophobic - even racist, such as in Greece - has played a part," she told journalists.

In certain member states, this package of five directives will not change much. "In others, there is more work to do." Reforms in Greece, whose asylum system - according to the European Court of Human Rights - does not respect human dignity, are being monitored by the Commission. Alongside Spain and Italy, Greece has received the most financial support from the EU in recent years: between 2007 and 2011, the EU spent a total of C119 million in the country. However, the situation for migrants is still miserable, as shown by a recent incident in which supervisors opened fire at a camp of some 200 migrants, injuring 30, as well as racist attacks by the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party. However, "the worst camps have been closed, and journalists and NGOs have access they didn't have two years ago," emphasised the commissioner.

Member states must apply these five directives within two years. …

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