Dimitris Avramopoulos, the incoming Greek EU commissioner for migration and home affairs, thinks that EU’s foreign embassies should make it possible for migrants to request asylums. “We should have offices in the EU delegations all over the world, in particular in third countries, where we should allow people to apply for asylum or for legal migration status,” he said to euro-deputies at his hearing on Tuesday (30 September).
This idea does not coincide with the EU’s current approach to migration policy, which is much stricter and often criticized for making refugees set out on hazardous journeys across the Mediterranean Sea. Since the beginning of this year, approximately 3,000 people have died in the attempts to reach the European coast, according to the data of Amnesty International. The organization published its research yesterday (30 September) calling for a collective EU response amidst Italy’s alleged plans to limit its Mare Nostrum search and rescue naval operations.
Mr Avramopoulos’s proposal has not been embraced by the MEPs. As British center-left MEP Claude Moraes commented that “his idea is not something most members would have heard before” and added that “I would give him marks for imagination.” Yet, the 53-year-old Greek thinks that it is Europe’s responsibility to offer protection to the people fleeing from wars and conflict zones and to respect the rights of asylum seekers. In the run-up to this new proposal, the Dublin regulation is for possible review. The policy demands point-of-entry member states to take care of all incoming requests, which has triggered off a lot of controversy due to the lack of solidarity of unaffected states with the countries that have to deal with the influx of refugees on a daily basis, such as Italy or Greece.