All EU countries should be forced to accept refugees, suggests the Swedish EU parliamentarian Cecilia Wikström in her report on the future refugee situation, now to be negotiated within the EU.
- It is impossible when there are three, four, five countries in the EU that take responsibility, and the other 24 do nothing at all or very little, says Cecilia Wikström to Swedish Radio.
She is the European Parliament's negotiator on the so-called Dublin agreement, which determines which country in the EU to examine an asylum application. The agreement will now be revised after Angela Merkel made it obsolete.
The European Commission's proposal means that each country is assigned a reference value, a refugee quota, based on the country's GDP and population growth.
After the quota is filled, the redeployment of asylum seekers will be triggered automatically.
The European Commission has also proposed that countries that refuse to accept refugees will be punished with a fine of EUR 250,000 per applicant.
But that is a proposal Cecilia Wikström says no to:
- I think it is deeply unethical to put a price tag on each individual. Why should we not just be able to withhold some EU funds if these countries are not taking their share of responsibility.
The individual asylum seekers should not be able to choose the country in which he or she is seeking asylum, but Cecilia Wikström will not, as the European Commission, punish individuals who refuse to accept the country they are assigned.
She also wants to increase the possibility of exceptions, for example, if the individual requests to instead come to another EU country and then refer for example to relatives, friends, or language skills.
But several EU countries oppose mandatory refugee quotas, and the decision a year and a half ago to redistribute 100,000 asylum seekers from Italy and Greece has not been implemented.
- Because it was not a success, but rather a giant fiasco, we realize that volunteerism is not working, it must be binding for responsibility, says Cecilia Wikström.
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