The European Commission has announced that countries that shut their doors on refugees will have to pay fines to the states that do accept them. Each country will have to pay a "solidarity contribution" of €250,000 (£200,000) per refugee.
The commission, in its report, proposes reforms for asylum applications, which got stretched beyond breaking point because of the refugee crisis that saw a million people enter the shores of Europe. The Dublin III regulation establishes that refugees will have to register and apply for asylum in the first country of their entry; and that particular country will be responsible for dealing with their application.
This was designed to give the applicants better protection until their status is established. The commission has largely kept this regulation intact but proposes that if a country receives a disproportionate number of applications, new applicants seeking asylum in that country will be relocated.
The report elaborates that a more efficient system with shorter time limits for sending transfer requests and clearer obligations for asylum applicants will be established. To support the Dublin reform, a system for returning migrants will also be facilitated.
Family considerations, recent possession of a visa or a residence permit in a EU country and whether the applicant entered the EU regularly or irregularly, are criteria that will be considered when applications are perused. The existing rules were not designed to accept the huge influx of refugees and Greece and Italy, predominantly dealing with the vast numbers, have been overwhelmed, the Financial Times reported.
The commissioner for Migration and Home affairs, Dimitris Avramopoulos was quoted in the European Commission report as saying, "If the current refugee crisis has shown one thing, it is that the status quo of our Common European Asylum System is not an option. The time has come for a reformed and more equitable system, based on common rules and a fairer sharing of responsibility."
He added, "With the proposed reform of the Dublin system, the reinforcement of Eurodac and the transformation of EASO into a true European Agency for Asylum, today we are taking a major step in the right direction and putting in place the European-level structures and tools necessary for a future-proof comprehensive system."
Along with the asylum reforms, the commission has also made way for Turkish nationals to travel to the EU without a visa.Turkey has to fulfil all the 72 benchmarks set by EU by the end of June. The visa deal will only come into effect if the council of ministers and EU Parliament approve the proposal of the European Commission.