Reception centre for refugees in Greece. Under the European Commission's proposal, an asylum-seeker rejected in one EU country cannot present the same application in another EU country/Photo: IOM Greece

EU countries should mutually recognise asylum decisions — European Commission

In order to increase the number of deportations of rejected asylum-seekers, the EU states should mutually recognise such decisions, according to the European Commission.

Today, an asylum-seeker rejected in one EU country can simply move on to another EU country and start the application process again there, said EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson in Strasbourg on Tuesday. “This is of course a real abuse of the system. That’s why we want to close these loopholes.”

In practice, this means that a rejection of an asylum application in Greece, Italy or Hungary, for example, should also apply in Germany. So, if the same person whose application has been rejected moves to Germany, they would not be able to make a new application. This would also apply if there are differences in the asylum laws and asylum jurisdictions in the EU member states.

In concrete terms, the EU Commission relies on the fact that the member states know about the negative asylum decisions of other EU states through the updated Schengen Information System that recently went into operation. This would enable the mutual recognition of decisions and their rapid implementation.

Johansson stressed that for more returns, cooperation with countries of origin outside the EU must improve. “But we can also do much better on our own side,” she said. According to the Commission, member states can also better network their asylum and return authorities.

Felix Dappah

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