Estonia less than enthusiastic about proposed EU asylum system change (1)
The suggestion of the European Commission to change the Dublin Regulation and give the European Asylum Support Organization greater authority were incompatible with Estonia’s current position, Raivo Küüt of the Ministry of the Interior made clear on Thursday.
Küüt, who is the ministry’s Deputy Secretary General for Public Order and Migration Policy, said Estonia didn’t support a change of the principles of the Dublin system.
Estonia preferred case-based decisions to the automatic redistribution of refugees by quota, Küüt added. All current and future measures based on European solidarity had to take into account the population size and GDP of individual members.
Küüt pointed out that it was necessary to differ between the everyday situation and a crisis. To deal with a crisis, extraordinary measures were justified and necessary, but otherwise the problems facing EU member states couldn’t be “reduced to the rights of applicants for international protection” and the development of a unified asylum system.
“The problems currently facing EU member states are difficult and complex, and they need a holistic and thorough approach. Part of this is making the external borders work more effectively, for instance by strengthening Frontex, and making return mechanisms more effective,” Küüt said.
To regulate migration in the long term, the system generally needed to follow today’s Dublin Regulation, he added.
Küüt pointed out that it was important that the member states fulfilled their obligations correctly both under the current and a possible future system. To make the Dublin system and also the EU asylum system work, all member states needed to help those they wanted to accept as quickly as possible, while they needed to send those back who didn’t need protection or hadn’t applied for it.
The European Commission introduced a proposal on Wednesday to change the Dublin Regulation. According to the regulation currently in effect, those member states are responsible for the processing of applications for asylum or protection through with applicants have entered the European Union. The proposed change would give the European Asylum Support Office greater authority to organize the distribution of asylum seekers.
The commission also announced that it intended to work on a more general approach to asylum applications to make them fairer and more humane.
Küüt said that the government hadn’t yet decided on a position in detail, and that the matter would be discussed further.