Kai Mykkänen (NCP), the Minister of the Interior, has called for a thorough overhaul of the migrant and refugee policy of the European Union.
Mykkänen on Wednesday announced his readiness to effectively abolish the current system of cross-border asylum applications and only allow the submission of applications at borders in special circumstances, while simultaneously substantially raising the refugee quotas of both Finland and the European Union.
“What if we increased the number of quota refugees accepted to the EU tenfold and restricted cross-border applications to special cases?” he proposed in a blog on Puheenvuoro on Wednesday.
Mykkänen acknowledged that the proposal would represent a fundamental overhaul of the current asylum system but argued that such an overhaul is necessary because of the political uncertainty the issue has caused in Germany and Italy.
“We’ll see radical solutions whatever the case,” he stated to Uusi Suomi. “We’ll see them either in the form of every country acting alone and shutting down the Mediterranean without offering wider protection under the quota refugee scheme or in the form of us finding a joint European solution.”
He argued that the current asylum system has reached the end of its road because it is no longer supported by a high number of countries on the external borders of the EU. The 28-country bloc, he warned, has to take resolute action to bring the situation under control or risk a system-wide collapse.
Europe has currently a modest annual refugee quota of 25,000 but has accepted hundreds of thousands of asylum applicants per year. Mykkänen points out that his proposal to increase the quota to 250,000 would effectively adjust the number of asylum applicants to the levels recorded at the start of the 2010s.
“It’d be less than a quarter of the number of asylum seekers recorded in 2015, but when the selections are made directly from [refugee] camps everyone will receive asylum, whereas roughly a half [of the applicants who arrived in 2015] seem likely to receive a negative decision,” he explains.
“What’s crucial is that the inflow of refugees wouldn’t become uncontrollable and we wouldn’t be faced with the problem of how to remove unsuccessful applicants.”
The European Union is currently weighing up the possibility of outsourcing the processing – or at least preliminary assessment – of asylum applications in a bid to reduce both the movement of asylum applicants inside the union and the need to remove unsuccessful applicants.
“It may not be necessary to create a completely new mechanism. We already do have the refugee quota scheme,” reminded Mykkänen.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Roni Rekomaa – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi