The European Union has started legal proceedings against several member states for breaching migrant rules during the summer as the continent struggled to cope with the migrant crisis.
At the height of the migrant crisis in the three months between June and September this year, roughly 413,800 migrants applied for asylum in the EU, reports The Telegraph. The numbers represent over double the previous three months, and a fourfold increase since the beginning of 2014.
Various EU states struggled to cope with the influx and as a result Greece, Croatia and Italy have now been threatened with court for failing to follow migrant rules. In breach of a process intended to prevent migrants travelling on through central Europe and into Germany, those countries failed to fingerprint asylum seekers within three days of arrival as required by the Eurodac Regulation.
More seriously, Hungary faces legal action by the EU over allegations it failed to respect the rights of failed asylum seekers having allegedly ignored rules protecting failed asylum seekers from deportation while appeals are in progress. The European Commission also said that Hungary’s fast-track deportation regime ignores migrants’ rights to an interpreter, and left what should have been judicial decisions in the hands of unqualified secretaries.
Greece and Malta also face action for failure to meet standards for migrant reception centres.
Letters of Formal Notice, the first step of the infringement procedure, are being issued by the European Commission to the various infringing countries. In all the Commission has threatened more than 82 separate legal actions against its member states, a situation said to illustrate just how poorly the EU’s asylum rules have been applied.
“Solidarity and responsibility are two sides of the same coin… Our Common European Asylum System can only function if everyone plays by the rules.”
Broken down the numbers of migrants seeking asylum between June and September give an interesting picture of the crisis.
Predictably about a third were Syrians, with a further 14 per cent from Afghanistan and 10 per cent from Iraq. However, more surprising is that fact that some 26,000 Albanians, 21,000 Pakistanis and 11,175 Nigerians also applied for asylum.
Albania aspires to membership of the EU, Pakistan is a Commonwealth country, and Nigeria, as well as also being in the Commonwealth, is one of Africa’s fastest growing states. These countries do not represent typical war-torn nations which generate refugees and asylum seekers.
The BBC has reported that new data published yesterday shows a total of 812,705 migrants claimed asylum in the EU in the first nine months of this year.