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Outsourcing asylum: the Danish government suggestion for the new EU asylum pact?

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen announced that the EU's new pact on migration and asylum will be unveiled on 23th of September. According to Politico, the Commission previously planned to unveil the document on September 30, but the work on a long-delayed plan were intensified after the tragedy in Moria camp in Greece. The Danish government states for a new approach on migration to Europe outsourcing asylum and preventing people form entering Europe. 

Differences in national asylum and migration policies and reluctance to share responsibilities divided member states and deepened political crisis, putting migrants and asylum seekers at risk both during live-threatening  journeys to Europe as already in reception camps. The fire in Moria highlighted the insufficiencies and danger of such an attitude. 

But what are solutions proposed by the EU leaders? One of the them is to shift responsibility on neighbouring  “transit countries” and to reduce the flow of migrants and asylum seekers to the block. 

Such concept is proposed for example by the the Danish government. According to InfoMigrants, Denmark's foreign ministry announced it will be appointing Anders Tang Friborg to the post of special envoy on migration.  Anders Tang Friborg is expected to elaborate a new  mechanism in aim to optimise  EU asylum policy. The new approach assumes “opening reception centers outside EU borders in order to process asylum claims more quickly and return anyone who is refused protection by EU countries”. The Danish government also wants to improve the deportation of rejected asylum-seekers and to support agencies in countries along the most common migration routes.

Analysing the idea of external  asylum processing, further critical questions arise. Firstly, questionable is the eligibility of any external entities responsible for assessment asylum claims. And secondly, how the UE leaders will elaborate a “distribution system” to relocate people who meet “requirements” to apply for protection? 

Kseniya Homel 
NIEM’s National Advocacy Officer
The European and Migration Policy Programme
Institute of Public Affairs

Europe Pushes to Outsource Asylum, Again
Danes tap migration envoy as EU eyes asylum system reforms [10.09.2020].