Swiss Justice Minister Elisabeth Baume-Schneider says the new EU migration deal is a “historic step that was urgently needed”. She took part in the meeting in Luxembourg on Thursday, where EU home affairs ministers reached an agreement on reforms of the bloc’s asylum and migration system.
Switzerland is not an EU member but has been part of Europe’s Schengen zone since 2008. The reforms will therefore affect the Alpine nation and “for the first time, the solidarity mechanism will be enshrined in the legal texts”, said the Swiss Federal Department of Justice and Police (FDJP) in a statement on Thursday.
After seven years of deadlock and 12 hours of negotiations, EU ministers sealed a migration deal that will allow a solidarity mechanism to share the responsibility to look after migrants and refugees, and quicker processing of some asylum seekers’ applications.
Elisabeth Baume-Schneider said the “deal was urgently necessary”. The minister added that this compromise creates more confidence and that the “Dublin system would not have resisted long with the current situation”.
These reforms will also have an effect on Switzerland, an associate state of the so-called Dublin Regulation, which will be replaced by a regulation on the management of asylum and migration, the Swiss justice ministry said.External link
The new solidarity mechanism will relieve the states at the external borders of the Schengen areas. According to the new reforms, other states will have to support the countries at the borders: this could be done financially, by providing personnel or by taking up some asylum requests.
“This is a strengthening of the Dublin system and Switzerland will participate accordingly,” said the Swiss justice minister. Switzerland is not obliged to participate in the solidarity mechanism but has done so in the past.
Switzerland will therefore not be obliged to incorporate these principles into its national law, but “it supports the idea of accelerated procedures, of which it has itself had experience”, said Baume-Schneider. She also stressed the need to ensure “respect for the rule of law, human rights and procedural guarantees in all cases”.
The new deal on migration rules aims at introducing a collective management of the reception and relocation of asylum seekers in Europe. Sweden’s Migration Minister, Malmer Stenergard, confirmed countries will have to pay a one-off fee for each rejected applicant, provisionally set at €20,000 and the number of relocations per year will be 30,000 asylum seekers.
EU ministers have also agreed on accelerating the processing of asylum requests at the border facilities and allowing member states to send migrants whose asylum application has been denied to third countries deemed safe.
The compromise was not supported by Hungary, Poland, Malta, Bulgaria and Slovakia. It will now have to be approved by the EU Parliament.
Source : SwissInfo