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Guest blogpost by Vladan Lausevic, member of Alliance of Liberals And Democrats for Europe (ALDE) and student of European Studies at University of Riga.

Within the Union there is much political resistance at the national level when it comes to accepting asylum seekers, refugees and displaced persons for humanitarian reasons. Much of the resistance is based on fear that outcome will be improved support for the nationalistic, populist and even racist parties. Among the other main reasons is the lack of political and institutional experience in several member states. Regarding the ”United in Diversity” principle, when it comes to values, experiences and mentality, there are differences. Sweden and Germany have a several decade long history of dealing with humanitarian migration while Poland or Estonia have little or almost none experience at all.

Since “the migration challenge” is global, there is a need for a future more effective and influential decision-making process at the EU-level. The Union must be able to stand for and act in accordance with the required values such as basic human rights, in order to function in a global world. Within the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe we have for a long time advocated a common and central migration system which could replace the current Dublin system. A reform is necessary as Mediterranean is after all the Union’s southern border as well as the need to act in the spirit of the UN. The UN migration experts have after all requested from the EU to help to solve the migration crisis by accepting about 1 million refugees during the years to come.

Today the majority of the EU-citizens are primarily claiming responsibility among the national politicians and institutions regarding migration. In order to really be able to solve the crisis there is a need for the more voices to reach Brussels. For that reason ALDE has worked out the following proposals:

  1. Replacement of the Dublin system with a common EU-system by establishing The European Asylum Support Office. Economic resources should be distributed from EU-level to national level regarding the administration processes for integration. This would also lead to the creation of legal ways to the Union for those who are justified to search asylum or refugee status.
  1. More effective implementation of a “EU-blue card” similar to USA`s green card. Primarily for highly educated migrants and qualified workers who will shortly after arrival be able to join the labour market.
  1. To provide more resources for Frontex in order to conduct more effective search and rescue operations and actions against the human smugglers.

This kind of system would make the EU as a political union more effective in the area of migration policy since allocation would mean a more fair distribution between the member states regarding responsibility, sovereignty and humanitarian solidarity. However, in order for the system to work there is a bigger need for achieving democratic legitimacy. The EU-citizens should have the possibilities to be more politically aware and also have a greater influence on migration politics at EU-level.

At times of political and socio-economic crisis across the Union it is obvious that national institutions are not performing effective when it comes to resolving the migration challenges. A common system would lead to interplay between national and EU-institutions. The integration of new-coming individuals to the Union should be based on values that newcomers are able to establish themselves. The risk is otherwise that EU-citizens would be isolated from the supranational challenges. A clear and absurd example is the decision made by the government of Hungary regarding the establishment of the border fence and public billboards written on Hungarian that migrants should not take ”jobs from Hungarians”.

With a more common policy the Union could be a contributor to a better world regarding supranational challenges and among the best actors regarding humanitarian migration. The way to achieve that is making migration polices less national and more about interplay with the EU-level of decision-making. This would be vital for the future changes for the Union such as the ageing population and in order to enhance the values for the EU-citizenship by creating more including, open and tolerant societies. Those who today flee from violent, tragic and horrible circumstances seeking shelter in Europe should be able to become full citizens of the Union with the rights, freedoms and responsibilities shared by the other EU-citizens, so they can contribute to a better and common future of the Union.

Author :
EurActiv Network