An EU Quota Trading System for Refugees Would Offer a Fair Method for Alleviating Europe’s Migration Crisis Mollie Genver

Written by | Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

The recently proposed compulsory refugee quotas for each EU Member State had been enhanced by the inclusion of a quota trading system. Its key principle is that EU countries could ‘trade’ with refugee quotas. In reality, we could end up with a situation in which, let’s say, Spain would take over 1000 refugees from Malta along with a financial compensation that would enable Spain to cover administrative expenses for dealing with thousands of refugee and asylum seekers. This system could mitigate the opposition of Member States towards the quota system while also alleviating the burden for the most exposed countries such as Italy or Malta.
The European Commission moreover proposes financial assistance to third countries, such as Libya, particularly aimed at processing asylum applications directly in the detention camps and also strengthening controls on the borders with these countries. By that, the EU hopes to decrease the number of the dead at sea since their situation will be dealt with early on, before they would undertake a hazardous journey across the Mediterranean.
The quota trading system, however, carries certain inherent risks. There are concerns that the financial compensation for accepting more migrants could not be a sufficient solution to the dire situation of the refugees. The system could also lead to fast and sloppy processing of the status of individual refugees. For example, in Spain, asylum applications were not administered correctly in the past. Moreover, one should also take into account the critical living conditions in the detention camps in third countries. It is therefore very likely that due to stricter border controls, people will not be dying at sea but directly in the detention camps, where they will be struggling with more obstacles during their perilous and uncertain journey for a better life in Europe.

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