Migration drops, returns remain problematic

  • Petr Boháček
  • 27.3.2018 11:51

Asylum applications in the EU+ dropped to 125,550 in 2018 so far, with the total of 650,000 being registered in 2017, a significant drop from the peak years of 2015-2017 (1,322,825; 1,259,955; 650 000). However, returns remained problematic as member states returned only 226,150 people, 46% out of 493,790 ordered to leave in 2016.

Returns are held back by the absence of agreements with third countries, weak enforcement by national governments and lack of a common EU return policy. Some 1.5 million people should be returned in near future according to European Commission data. Without a European Asylum Policy, differences in asylum processes encourage secondary migrant movements within the EU. The EU is expected to break the deadlock on the Common European Asylum System (Dublin IV) by June. Despite consensus on most of the reform, the Visegrad Four reject the emergency redistribution of asylum processing between the Member States. The quota mechanism was recently also criticised by Austrian Chancellor KurzEU Council President Tusk, or German Interior Minister - Horst Seehofer. Without a comprehensive migration policy, the EU’s Schengen system will remain vulnerable to another crisis as the tensions between young, poor and underdeveloped Africa and rich and old Europe persist.

About author: Petr Boháček

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