25 Aug 2015

Dublin Procedure: Germany says EU rule ‘not working’

Correspondent

Germany has finally publicly acknowledged that one of the cornerstones of EU migration management policy – the Dublin procedure – does not work any more.

The Dublin Procedures established the principle that the first EU country a migrant or refugee entered was the one responsible for processing their asylum claim. So, if they subsequently moved to another one, they could be returned to the country of entry.

The Federal Office of Migration and Refugees has already examined carefully whether there are any humanitarian reasons for Germany to take the asylum procedures over
Federal Office of Migration and Refugees

Today in a statement the Federal Office of Migration and Refugees in Germany said: “Dublin Procedures of Syrian citizens are currently as far as possible factually not carried out by the Federal Office of Migration and Refugees. Asylum procedures that are not concluded yet will be processed in Germany.

“This new regulation is a guideline, not a binding formal directive. In the past, the Federal Office of Migration and Refugees has already examined carefully whether there are any humanitarian reasons for Germany to take the asylum procedures over. By the end of July there have been only 131 transfers of Syrian citizens according to the Dublin Regulation.”

Although in practice we knew this was the case for Germany, the statement is an important symbolic gesture. The British government, for example, puts a lot of store (at least when it comes to the rhetoric) on the Dublin Procedures, but Germany and others have long acknowledged that it does not work.

On Monday, Peter Sutherland, the UN’s migration chief, told Channel 4 News: “The reality is the Dublin system is dead. It was never a fair system. It unloads responsibility to frontline states like Greece and Italy, and on the most desirable destinations like Germany and Sweden, who are taking far more than others.”

Today the German Chancellor Angela Merkel continued her series of dialogues called “Good Living in Germany!” meeting citizens of Marxloh.

The community is one of the poorest in Germany – crime rates and unemployment are above the national average and 64 per cent of Marxloh’s population has an immigrant background.

Merkel said the increasing number of immigrants from Bulgaria and Romania could be a “stress test” for the town.