1. Move away from distributing migrant population flows according to imposed quotas.
Solidarity will not come as the direct result of an administrative decision. Solidarity is indeed needed, but it cannot be built without respecting the specific contexts and history of each Member State. Of the 160,000 resettlements requested in 2015, only some 30,000 refugees were in fact relocated. And we do not believe that resorting to financial sanctions is the best solution for improving inter-State solidarity within the EU.
2. Share responsibility for migration within Europe.
A European fund could be set up to assist with refugee training and integration, and to support the efforts of the Member States taking them in. A new investment plan for Africa (modelled on the “Juncker” Investment Plan) could provide help for “first-entry” countries, to better manage mass arrivals of migrants and help the countries welcoming refugees to integrate them into society. We must also give consideration to the complexity of today’s migration flows, the so-called “mixed flows”, in which it is sometimes difficult to distinguish (political) refugees from (economic) migrants, because candidates for exile are fleeing not only countries trampling on their rights but also extreme poverty. Not to mention the foreseeable influx of “climate refugees”, since the United Nations has estimated the number of people who will need to leave sub-Saharan Africa for North Africa or Europe at 60 million by 2030.
3. Review the Dublin Regulation to lighten the load for first-entry countries, which will mean for example agreeing on the regulations governing the movement of asylum seekers within the Schengen Area.
4. Harmonise the national regulations of the 27 Member States in terms of asylum law, including through bilateral frameworks.
The European Asylum Agency, which is set to replace the European Asylum Support Office (EASO), should provide support (financial and human resources) for the different Member States reviewing the applications of asylum seekers, and push for the harmonisation of asylum procedures in Europe.
5. Implement more effective return policies, because those in place are inefficient, by negotiating more agreements with candidates’ countries of origin.
By developing regional migration partnerships, we could more effectively address the long-term challenges. The European Union has already signed partnerships with Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Mali and Ethiopia, as well as Sudan, which are meant to open legal migration routes, fight against smugglers, support the asylum system and push for development aid.