It is not possible to agree on the European Union’s (EU) asylum policy until the end of June’s meeting of member states’ leaders – said German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a Sunday interviews in which he stressed the need to build a system based on the participation of all Member States and the flexible sharing of tasks.
In an interview with Sunday’s newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (FAS), the politician underlined that ensuring the EU’s external borders, a common asylum policy and fighting to overcome the overriding causes of refugee are all vital issues, “an existential issue for Europe”.
Freedom of movement within the EU is a fundamental condition for the functioning of the internal market, which is of enormous benefit to everyone. The free interoperability of the so-called Schengen zone and the freedom of movement are based on the protection of the external borders, and if there is no confidence in border protection and cooperation with the EU’s neighborhood in all the Member States, “Europe falls back to the pre-Schengen times with serious consequences for our well-being, “said Angela Merkel.
On the question of whether it is sufficient to improve border protection, he said that a common asylum system should be built, in which each country has “similar standards” to decide who can be granted asylum. He pointed out that, due to the current divergent legislation, citizens of the same country of origin are quite likely to obtain a right of residence in Germany, such as France.
In line with comparable, similar standards, Member States’ asylum rules, “we need uniform procedures at European external borders, and the Frontex European Border Protection Agency should become a true European border police in the medium term with European competences”.
“This means that the European border police should have the right to work independently on the external borders,” said the German Chancellor.
The question of whether its proposal concerns the establishment of an EU asylum office said that in the final phase of the new system, a “common European asylum authority should be established to implement asylum procedures under a single European asylum system for external cross “.
The implication that this system also implies that the EU asylum office should decide whether an asylum-seeker resident in Bochum or Bordeaux, France, Angela Merkel emphasized that the new common European asylum system requires more solidarity, each Member State should contribute to its operation.
However, the first and foremost task is to reduce illegal migration – he added. To this end, agreements should be concluded with the countries of transit on the fight against illegal migration and the countries of origin should be negotiated on how to return home more efficiently to their non-EU nationals.
In exchange for the fight against illegal migration and the readmission of rejected asylum seekers, “legal forms of migration should be promoted, especially in the context of learning and training, and immigration of skilled workers”, said Angela Merkel.
He added that “orderly circumstances” should be created at the external frontier, “but closure is not an appropriate path”, instead “an intelligent approach is needed on several levels”.
It is therefore necessary to link Member States’ databases to “know who are staying here” and to cooperate with states in regions around the EU. The most important thing is that there are more opportunities for development in asylum seekers coming to the EU, because only improving young people’s lives can help these countries lastingly, “so we are preparing a Marshall Plan for Africa,” the German Chancellor said.
He added that tasks should be divided into a “flexible system”, in which each Member State will “make an independent but comparable contribution”.
“I do not know about a single member state that says I do not participate in any of the tasks,” Merkel said, adding that in some Member States it was disputed that the refugees were persuaded permanently, but hopes that “the current blockade of European asylum policy can be greatly facilitated” .
On the idea of quotas for the allocation of refugees between Member States, he stressed the need to “prepare for reconciliation” in the European Council, unanimous in the Member States’ Heads of State or Government, on this issue.
As you said, they are working hard on the deal, but they may not be able to achieve it at the European Council meeting in late June.
“It did not lead to political reconciliation when we decided by a majority decision to allocate a quota of 160,000 refugees in 2015, so I think we should try a couple of weeks to develop a common solution,” Angela Merkel said.