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07 April 2016

Newly arrived migrants and refugees in Greece. Photo: Francesco Malavolta 2015.   

EU Executive Proposes Stronger Common Asylum System

Brussels - The European Commission has proposed strengthening the bloc's common asylum rules in response to the chaotic arrival of more than a million migrants and refugees last year that has strained EU cohesion, writes Gabriela Baczynska for Reuters.

The proposal drew swift criticism from the Czech Republic, highlighting deep divisions within the EU about how to amend what is known as the Dublin rules, under which people must claim asylum in the first EU state they enter.

That system has left frontline states Greece and Italy unable and unwilling to offer asylum to all arrivals and seen many migrants trek north, prompting border closures that threaten the EU's Schengen system of passport-free travel.

A first option presented by the European Commission would add a "corrective fairness mechanism" that would relocate asylum seekers from frontline states to elsewhere in the bloc - a method now being employed on an ad hoc basis.

A second is to create a new system that would ignore where people arrived in the EU and send them around the bloc according to a "permanent distribution key".

"In both cases, asylum-seekers will be automatically redistributed between member states," the bloc's Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos told a news conference. "We need a fair share of responsibility and more solidarity ingrained in our system."

Read on

The Paradise That Wasn't

Each year, hundreds of young people and their families come to Baltimore in the USA as refugees. They are excited to come and to have access to education and opportunity. But, for many young refugees, Baltimore turns out to be a difficult place, where their American-born peers tease and bully them for being different. In this short  Wide Angle Youth Media documentary, filmmaker Evodie Ngoy, herself a refugee from the Congo DRC, helps other young refugees tell their stories in order to challenge the prejudices that many face.

Watch the video

Migration in the News

  • RFE/RL reported that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has pledged to stop illegal migration out of Turkey to Europe. But people smugglers in Istanbul say they have no plans to stop their trade.

  • Jordan Times reported the departure of the first Syrian family to leave Jordan for the US under a US emergency resettlement program that will take 10,000 Syrians over the next three months.

  • CRTV reported that the security situation in the Far North Region of Cameroon has forced many people to flee their homes.

Trending on the Internet

  • Wall Street Journal reported that Germany plans to stop passport controls at its border with Austria by mid-May as the flow of refugees and migrants arriving in the country abates.

  • Australia’s ABC reported on a Friday Night School program that brings together migrant children and students from some of Melbourne's most elite schools for a weekly tutoring session.

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