A European asylum and immigration policy now!
Restore Europe's cohesion!
The Union of European Federalists asks the European Parliament, the Commission and the governments of the Member States to do everything in their power so that the European Union proves itself in the refugee crisis and that the European idea is not damaged. The Member States must return to cooperation and common policies.
It should be noted that:
1. All EU Member States are obliged to grant political refugees the right of asylum.
2. Refugees from war-torn areas such as Syria, Afghanistan or Iraq are to be quickly recognised as refugees or tolerated on humanitarian grounds for the duration of the crisis.
3. People who want to come to the EU because of poor economic or social living environment in their home countries can only be taken if this is in the interest of the receiving Member State and temporarily if necessary on humanitarian grounds. The common European asylum system must be rapidly accompanied by emergency measures and thereafter by a totally revised permanent mechanism.
The EU member states have to work in the spirit of partnership and solidarity for a common European asylum and immigration policy and a strong role of the Community institutions therein. The proposals that President Juncker has presented to the Parliament are a good basis. The aim should be common European asylum and refugee legislation. In view of the dramatic situation this must be a priority for all Member States.
A consensus of all 28 EU member states would be preferable to any other options, but dissent must not prevent closer cooperation of willing EU members should no progress be possible otherwise.
To prevent people from entrusting themselves to smugglers and taking dangerous routes to Europe, an asylum procedure, allowing legal entries, must be established at European embassies or in new centres in the countries concerned. For this purpose the existing instrument of the international humanitarian visa could also be exploited.
For the Western Balkan countries that are not members of the EU, but which have the perspective of accession, possibilities for legal labour migration must be provided.
In the most affected countries of the EU, where refugees arrive, special reception centres ("hotspots") must be built with the support of the EU. Simultaneously, the EU's external borders must be secured as much as possible.
The asylum procedure must be EU-wide, uniform and in full compliance with the Geneva Convention. Additional resources must be allocated to the relevant authorities to expand their capacity and ability to process asylum applications quickly.
The deadline for the recognition or rejection of asylum applications must be as short as possible so that recognised refugees can be distributed from reception centres to the EU Member States and so that those affected can return to everyday life with permanent accommodation as soon as possible. This must be done on the basis of a fair allocation formula, considering the gross domestic product, population, unemployment rate and the proportion of already recorded refugees.
The recognised refugees must immediately obtain a work permit and be able to start training. In particular, young people need to be integrated into education and training systems as quickly as possible. Rejected claimants should be returned within a short period of time.
The EU must develop a strategy for dealing with the causes and sources of refugee flows from the Middle East, Africa and Libya. This requires the use of all existing options and instruments in the fields of humanitarian and development aid, trade policy, investment promotion and political-diplomatic initiatives including the deployment of peacekeepers in the framework of a UN mandate. A common European refugee policy must be accompanied by a common foreign and security policy.
These are measures to be implemented in the short term. In the medium term, the common asylum and refugee policy must to become an EU-wide policy and should be accompanied by a fair trade and sustainable European climate policy.
The freedom to travel within the Schengen area must be fully re-established as soon as possible. Border controls can and may only be temporary. Member States must use this time to immediately implement a coherent common policy.