Can the New Refugee Relocation System Work? Perils in the Dublin Logic and Flawed Reception Conditions in the EU

Written by | Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

Sergio Carrera and Elspeth Guild (The Centre for European Policy Studies)

Based on the European Commission’s proposal, the Council of Ministers agreed during their emergency meeting on 22 September on a controversial decision that 120,000 refugees should be temporarily re-distributed among the EU countries except for Greece and Italy. This logically consists of moving refugees applying for international protection to a particular EU country. One of the first interesting facts about this measure is the exemption of Hungary from the entire process although it was part of the Commission’s original proposal in early September. Because of the permanent opposition to the redistribution of refugees, this country has been exempt from the Commission’s latest decision.

The approved decision is, however, only a temporary solution to the current difficult situation. Therefore, the Commission is considering the creation of a permanent redistribution system in crisis situations under the auspices of the Dublin Agreement. It should be noted that the already approved temporary proposal is also included under the Dublin structure and its main principles are still valid. The key that will be used for the redistribution of the asylum-seekers is, however, unique. It is based on the calculation of the individual characteristics of each country, such as, for example, the size of the population, GDP and the average number of asylum applications in the past and the country’s unemployment rate.

Besides, there is a point in the decision, which strongly recommends taking into account also other specific circumstances during the assessment of applications. This means that authorities should also consider, for example, language skills of the applicants or their family ties in EU countries that could facilitate their subsequent integration into the society of the given country. Included in the Commission’s decision are also financial arrangements for the implementation of the measures. This largely covers the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF), which pays 6,000 euros for each accepted application redirected from another Member State. Moreover, Greece and Italy will get €500 for each such a person to cover transportation costs.

(The study can be downloaded here:

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