New EU Measures Could Force Migrant Redistribution

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has proposed abolishing current European Union asylum rules, suggesting new measures could force member states to take migrants through a “new strong solidarity mechanism”.

President Von der Leyen told the European Parliament on Wednesday that the asylum system needed to be changed, likely to make it easier to distribute migrants from countries where they first arrive, such as Greece and Italy.

Current Dublin agreement regulations state that asylum seekers must apply for asylum in the first European Union member state they enter, which often means a larger percentage of migrants in countries along the EU’s border.

“We will abolish the Dublin regulation, and we will replace it with a new European migration governance system,” von der Leyen said, according to Swedish broadcaster SVT.

“It will have common structures on asylum and return, and it will have a new strong solidarity mechanism,” she said and added: “I am very much looking forward to the debate. Let’s discuss. There will be things where we will agree and places where we will not. So, I’m looking forward to the next few days and weeks.”

While the proposal could see support from Italy and Greece, SVT’s correspondent Christoffer Wendick noted that many other countries within the EU could oppose the idea.

Hungary has long resisted proposals to redistribute migrants in the EU and is likely one of the countries that will object to changing the asylum rules.

The Austrian government has also made it clear that it will not accept new migrants, stating last week that it preferred to send aid to Greece following a fire at the Moria migrant camp that left more than 10,000 migrants homeless.

Since the fire, six migrants have been arrested in connection with the blaze, which Greek authorities have claimed was a deliberate arson.

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