According to the Geneva Convention, the EU is responsible for people who need international protection. The Dublin Regulation, which is part of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS), establishes that the first country a refugee enters is responsible for processing his or her asylum application. This system has proven problematic over recent years. Since the European refugee crisis reached its peak in 2015, the necessity of reforming the Dublin Regulation in the spirit of burden-sharing has become clearer than ever. Burden-sharing involves states taking on responsibility for refugees of other states. For example, countries facing less immigration pressure, such as Romania and Poland, would accept a certain quota of asylum-seekers from countries that receive the most migrants, such as Italy and Greece.
On Friday 16th October, the King’s Think Tank launched its first event of the year, a panel discussion focusing on ‘Europe’s Migrant Crisis’. The panel included Dr Jeff Crisp, a Research Associate at the University of Oxford’s Refugee Studies Centre; Jean Lambert, Green MEP for London; Mr James Mates, Europe Editor of ITV News and Jakob Muratov, President of the European Affairs Policy Centre at the Think Tank. The vibrant discussion covered the impact of mass migration with regards to the migrants themselves, border control and the necessary response to overcome the problems facing Europe.
The displacement of millions mainly due to the ongoing Syrian civil war and the rise of ISIS have left Europe facing the largest refugee crisis since the Second World War. A united European response is essential if the values and, indeed, the existence of the European project are to be sustained. This author believes that the current issue of refugees should be detangled from the wider immigration debate and that a coherent response must be found to give asylum to those fleeing persecution.