EU home affairs ministers discuss the reform of the Common European Asylum System

Ministry of the Interior 4.6.2018 14.05 | Published in English on 4.6.2018 at 16.27
Press release 64/2018
EU home affairs ministers discuss the reform of the Common European Asylum System

The EU home affairs ministers will meet at the Justice and Home Affairs Council in Luxembourg on 4–5 2018. Finland's representative at the meeting will be Minister of the Interior Kai Mykkänen. The home affairs ministers will review the package containing seven legislative proposals related to the reform of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS).

Progress has been made in the negotiations on the Common European Asylum System. The Council has now started tripartite negotiations (trilogues) with the European Parliament and the Commission on five out of the seven legislative proposals. The Council is still in the process of adopting its opinion on the Asylum Procedure Regulation, i.e. the Regulation establishing a common procedure for international protection in the Union, and the Dublin Regulation, i.e. the Regulation determining the Member State responsible for examining an asylum application. After adopting its opinion on these two proposals, the Council can begin the related negotiations with the European Parliament.

A key objective of the reform of the Common European Asylum System is to make the System more crisis-resilient. The changes will make the asylum procedure more effective, thus making it easier and quicker to assess the need for international protection. In addition, legislation will be enacted on mechanisms that can be used to underline the responsibility of applicants to seek asylum in the Member State which they enter first or where they have the right to reside.

"Such common rules across the EU are important to prevent the abuse of the Common European Asylum System and to reduce the uncontrolled secondary movements of asylum seekers within the EU," says Minister Mykkänen.

Provisions on safe countries of origin must be clarified

The ministers will also discuss the concept of safe countries of origin and the related lists. The aim is to be able to quickly return applicants after their application has been rejected, provided that they come from safe countries of origin. If applicants come from non-EU countries where they have or could have received protection, they can be returned without examining their application. In addition to the lists agreed at EU level, complementary national lists could be drawn up in future.

"I hope that we will make quick progress with the provisions on the safe countries of origin. We must aim to adopt as harmonised practices as possible across the EU," says Mykkänen.

In spring and summer 2016, the Commission issued a total of seven proposals to reform the EU's common asylum policy. The proposals seek to address the migration crisis, which culminated in 2015, and the need to improve the management of migration to the EU. It has become evident that the existing EU regulations cannot cope with the pressure created by large numbers of asylum seekers.

Laura Yli-Vakkuri, Director General, tel. +358 40 720 2216,
Titta Andersson-Bohren, Special Adviser, tel. +358 50 513 15 39, (requests for interview with Minister Mykkänen)

Kai Mykkänen