EU MAY FINE COUNTRIES FOR REJECTING REFUGEES

SOURCE: EU OBSERVER

The EU Commission plans to impose fines on countries that refuse to take refugees under revised EU asylum laws to be put forward on Wednesday (4 May).

The commission’s proposal will maintain the guiding principle of the current system that the country where migrants first step into the EU must deal with asylum applications.

But it proposes that when a country at the EU’s external border is overwhelmed, asylum seekers should be distributed across the continent.

The commission has been trying to encourage reluctant countries, particularly in central and eastern Europe, to take part in the redistribution system.

Slovakia and Hungary have already brought a court case to challenge an earlier EU decision to redistribute migrants based on a mandatory quota.

But commission officials say the outcome of the court’s decision will not affect their plans to overhaul the asylum system, known as the Dublin regulation.

EU countries last year agreed to redistribute 160,000 asylum seekers across Europe in two years, but have so far actually redistributed only a small portion.

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