Germany's interior minister Horst Seehofer wants the claims of asylum seekers like these, in 2015, to be decided before they enter the European Union | Photo: Picture-alliance/dpa/A.Weigel
Germany's interior minister Horst Seehofer wants the claims of asylum seekers like these, in 2015, to be decided before they enter the European Union | Photo: Picture-alliance/dpa/A.Weigel

The German interior minister Horst Seehofer has called for a new European migration system which would see asylum applications decided outside Europe's borders.

Germany has called on the European Union to change its approach to asylum applications. The interior minister, Horst Seehofer, said on Tuesday that applicants should undergo initial assessment at Europe's external borders and be sent home from there as well.

"We have to realize that the Dublin system has failed," Seehofer told the interior ministers of France, Italy, Poland, Spain, and the United Kingdom at a meeting of the so-called G6 group in the southern German city of Munich on Tuesday.

The Dublin regulation refers to European Union rules which state that the EU country in which a person seeking asylum first sets foot should handle the asylum application.

External processing

"(This) system cannot be the basis for the EU's future asylum policy," Seehofer said. "We need a new philosophy that starts at the external borders."

"Our proposition: Effective protection of Europe's external borders, where we check whether someone has a need for protection or has to be returned immediately. This means we need a unified set of rules."

Under Seehofer's proposal, only asylum seekers with prospects for receiving protection in Europe should be distributed among a group of willing EU countries. Their asylum issues would then be addressed there.

If the initial assessment at the European external borders is negative, the EU border agency Frontex should return the asylum seeker to his or her home country.

Most support Seehofer

The EU migration commissioner, Dimitris Avrampoulos, who also attended the G6 meeting, welcomed the proposal and called the discussions "constructive". He said most of the G6 ministers supported Seehofer. 

Seehofer also wants to bring forward a planned strengthening of the European border agency, Frontex. Officials in Brussels on Wednesday approved plans to deploy 10,000 uniformed border guards and officers across the EU by 2027, the AFP news agency reports.

With material from DPA, AFP, KNA

 

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