Changing asylum policy: should Europe stop refugee boats in the Mediterranean?

PFor the first time, politicians from the Union are openly talking about fundamentally new ways to limit migration, which previously they wanted to talk about only in the background. Some propose revising the international legal framework for migration policy – ​​the Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, the European Charter of Fundamental Rights and the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU. The CDU includes deputy chairman Jens Spahn and parliamentary manager Torsten Frei.

Others are considering the possibility of exercising the right to asylum “outside Europe.” The speakers here are Frei and the head of the CSU in the Bundestag, Alexander Dobrindt. Still others wonder whether refugees could be transported by boat back to Africa directly from the Mediterranean using European naval ships. These include Saxony’s Interior Minister Armin Schuster and Saxony-Anhalt’s Prime Minister Rainer Haseloff.

But there are also signs of movement in the government coalition. FDP general secretary Bijan Jir-Saray now says it is clear across the country “that we need a different migration policy” and that “more management, control and restrictions on migration” are needed. The leader of the FDP parliamentary group, Christian Dürr, now states so clearly for the first time that Germany must “end incentives for illegal migration, moving from cash benefits to benefits in kind.” They now also want to “talk” about stationary controls on the border with Poland, as required in the Union.

The ideas of the Union would be a “paradigm change,” as Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni proposed in mid-September. She said the EU should focus on preventing illegal entry at its external borders, rather than relying primarily on repatriation and intra-EU redistribution, as is the case now. These old remedies also seem ineffective to some Union parties. Haseloff, for example, says: “He who is in is in. The chances of anyone being repatriated are slim.”

The fact that the CDU and CSU are now thinking about changing the foundations of international law is also due to the fact that the Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, the original document to which many other normative acts refer, protects every refugee from this through the “prohibition of refoulement.” in Article 33. to be sent back to a country where his life or freedom would be in danger. The EU Convention on Human Rights, a document of the Council of Europe, also states that no one should be subjected to “degrading” treatment. As a result, courts have recently significantly expanded the criteria for protecting migrants. For some judges, it also means a worsening medical or economic situation.

Span: The Refugee Convention can be changed

Some in the CDU no longer want to put up with this. Spahn believes the Refugee Convention “was not sent by God to Moses, but can be changed,” while Frei wants Germany to work on “revising the European Convention on Human Rights” as well as changing EU law. But both paths are thorny. The 46 states of the Council of Europe will have to agree on a new system of interpretation of the human rights convention.

The proposal to stop boat migrants in the Mediterranean using European warships and return them to Africa is particularly strongly supported by Saxony’s Interior Minister Schuster. In his opinion, a prerequisite for this are agreements with North African states along the lines of the 2016 agreement with Turkey. – says Shuster. “In return, Europe will promise to accept a certain number of legal immigrants from there.” Partner states will be rewarded with money, but perhaps also with easier visa regulations and other things.

Source: Frantfurter Allgemeine

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