EU: Here we go again (again, again): push for asylum centres at the external borders


Those not expelled following an unsuccesful asylum claim or relocated following a succesful one would "end up in some sort of facility," reports EUobserver.

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"The European Commission's long-awaited and long-delayed pact on migration will include new asylum centres along the outer rim of the European Union, EUobserver has been told.

The idea is part of a German proposal, floated last year, that seeks to rapidly pre-screen asylum seekers before they enter European Union territory.

Michael Spindelegger, director-general of the Vienna-based International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) told EUobserver on Thursday (9 July) that the European Commission had in fact decided to include it into their upcoming migration pact.

"I got some information that this will be part of these proposals from the European Commission. So this is what I can tell you. I think this really is something that could bring some movement in the whole debate," he said.


EUobserver understands the new pact may also include a three-tiered approach.

Abusive claims would be immediately dismissed and returned, those clearly in the need for protection would be relocated to an EU state, while the remainder would end up in some sort of facility.

Spindelegger concedes the idea has its detractors - noting it will be also be tricky to find the legal framework to support it." (emphasis added)

See: Border pre-screening centres part of new EU migration pact (EUobserver, link) and a German paper cited in the report, published by Statewatch last year: Food for thought: Outline for reorienting the Common European Asylum System

This is far from a novel idea, and even Spindelegger, seemingly its main proponent, willingly admits that it would be beyond the law.

It has long been the dream of some officials to keep asylum-seekers 'out of sight, out of mind' in far-flung camps at the EU's external borders or in non-EU states. In practice it has often proved unworkable - although the Greek and Italian hotspots offer a chilling picture of what may lie ahead, on an even larger scale, if these plans are allowed to proceed.

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