The European Union has reignited the discussion of scrapping the highly criticised Dublin Regulation, the policy that requires refugees to apply and claim asylum in the first European country they step foot in.
This rule has caused an influx of refugees in the Mediterranean countries such as Greece and Italy. But the rule was widely ignored during the migrant crisis and officials say the rules were never properly applied anyway, as most refugees landed on deserted beaches in Greece and Italy, and made their way over land to other countries such as Germany and Sweden.
Proposals are expected to be put forward by the European Commission in March. The abolishment of this policy will mean that countries such as Germany, Sweden and the UK will have to establish a new and improved systems for registration of the hundreds of thousands of expected refugees. Although the UK is not a member of the EU’s border-free travel Schengen zone, it can choose to opt into EU asylum policy.
With talks of this renegotiation in the air, Prime Minister David Cameron leaves this week for a three-day series of meetings at the World Economic Forum in Davos where he will deliver a speech on Britain’s involvement in the EU and the upcoming conference about Syria that will occur in London in February. He has said that in the five years since Syrians have begun to flee from the conflict in their country, the global community has done a lot to help them however “as each day passes the demand for more life-saving aid grows and their hopes for the future wane.” The conference in February will be an imperative forum for the international citizenry. Cameron states that agreements need to be made swiftly so that countries like Syria and Jordan can start to flourish once again.