The EU must not become a lawless zone

Presidency of the Council of the European Union, President of the European Parliament (CC: President of LIBE Committee)

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The EU’s very future is playing out today in the Białowieża Forest. We call on the Council of the European Union to renounce the legalisation of the derogations from treaties that require Member States of the EU to protect human rights. We call on the European Union to lead with a humane response to the humanitarian crisis that is playing out on the borders with Belarus, and for immediate actions to be taken to protect vulnerable individuals and to respect the right of asylum.

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Why is this important?

The future of the EU asylum system is currently threatened because of the proposed Instrumentalisation Regulation on migration and asylum policy.

This legislative proposal would allow Member States to derogate from their responsibilities under EU asylum law in situations when migration flows are "instrumentalised" for political purposes.

The proposed measure would have severe negative consequences for the rights of people on the move. It would include extending registration periods for asylum applications, applying the border procedure to all asylum claims, limiting reception conditions to meet only basic needs, and expediting return procedures. This amounts to instrumentalising people on the move as bargaining chips in geopolitical games. By introducing the vague concept of “instrumentalisation”, it gives EU countries a tool to justify not applying asylum rules. [1]

The proposal would allow member states to permanently derogate from their responsibilities under EU asylum law, undermine the rule of law and essentially reduce the fundamental rights guaranteed under EU law. If implemented, it would have serious negative consequences for the rights of people on the move. [2]

The Council of the European Union and the European Parliament should reject this Regulation and focus on actions to protect vulnerable people on the move and strengthen asylum rights. These institutions should instead reaffirm the fundamental nature of the right to apply for asylum.

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