Donnerstag, 19.05.2022 23:35 Uhr

Refugee and asylum systems

Verantwortlicher Autor: Carlo Marino Rome , 08.04.2022, 10:54 Uhr
Presse-Ressort von: Dr. Carlo Marino Bericht 4773x gelesen

Rome [ENA] The 1951 United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees is the Convention containing the principles of refugee and asylum policies followed by the European Union (EU) and by the United States (US). However, structural weaknesses in application processes and resettlement programmes have disorganized humanitarian processing, and left both EU and US systems battling massive an accumulation of uncompleted

work in applications. The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated this situation, hindering the basic provision of international protection globally. Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, both the EU and US have been looking for ways of helping people fleeing the war. The US is seeking to re-invigorate its refugee and asylum programmes and has already taken several important steps, whereas the EU has yet to complete its pending asylum reform. Over the past 20 years, immigration policy relating to refugees has suffered from Congressional obstruction and permanent debate over comprehensive reform.

At the moment , the Refugee Act calls on the US President to determine an annual numerical ceiling for refugee admissions, following consultation with Congress. Asylum- seekers are not included in the limit, on account of the unique nature of their arrival in the US. This annual cap is a highly politicised immigration issue in Congress, especially following the change from 15 000 admittances under the Trump Administration to 125 000 under the Biden Administration in 2021. Furthermore, the current, 117th Congress has continually pushed for immigration reform, which has increased dialogue and collaboration with the administration. In April 2021, 40 Members of Congress wrote a letter to the DHS and USCIS directors expressing their concern at

the record high backlog of close to 400 000 applications for asylum. By way of comparison, the EU had a backlog of 431 000 asylum cases pending in November 2021. In addition to administrative issues, both the EU and the US have failed to provide asylum-seekers with safe and secure reception and relocation systems. The reception centres in Greece and the ICE detention camps on the US-Mexico border have both been criticised by international actors and non-governmental organisations, such as Amnesty International, for extended use of detention in poor living conditions, while the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has expressed grave concern and issued recommendations for improvement.

European Union position is expressed in its expectations of a common binding procedure that Member States should follow in processing and resettling refugees. In October 2021, MEPs adopted a report assessing the 2013 directive on asylum procedures, which found that the application of the directive has not been effective, efficient, or uniform throughout the Member States. The report also criticised the detention centres' conditions as inhumane, and fundamentally in violation of human rights standards. The Parliament has adopted various amendments, seeking to improve the proposals in the new pact on asylum and migration. Unlike the Council of the EU, the Parliament has highlighted the legal validity, under the EU Treaties,

of the principle of solidarity for asylum law and border control. Adopted in 1999, the common European asylum system (CEAS) provides the legal foundation for EU asylum law on the basis of the Asylum Procedures Directive, the Reception Conditions Directive, the Qualification Directive, the Dublin Regulation, and the Eurodac Regulation. With these, EU law lays down detailed rules on asylum claims and procedures. Under the Dublin system, the first Member State which an asylum-seeker enters is responsible for processing their application. Once a migrant has been granted asylum status, they can remain for three years before they must renew their status.

The European Asylum Support Office provides operational support for Member States experiencing pressure from increased migration flows. Following the 2015 refugee crisis, the European Commission proposed to reform the asylum system. The 2020 new pact on migration and asylum outlines clearer responsibilities for Member States, seeking to modernise procedures for border management, screening, and asylum assessments. Notably, it would end the logic of the Dublin system, which has resulted in a disproportionate burden on frontline Member States along the external borders of the EU. The pact is still being discussed, and a September 2021 Commission report provides an update on progress so far. In addition to increased funding for existing

programmes, the EU has attempted to improve its overall capacity. However, so far, this has resulted in little real change. Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the EU and its Member States are mobilising support to help people fleeing the war, as well as the EU countries receiving them. This support includes direct humanitarian aid, emergency civil protection assistance and support at the border, as well as a clear legal status, through the Temporary Protection Directive (Directive 2001/55/EC), to grant immediate protection to Ukrainians in the European Union . The measures should also allow Member States to manage the influx of people and reduce the immediate impact on their asylum systems.

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