Sunday announcing his decision to temporarily reinstate controls at the German-Austrian border, Berlin has spiced up a little more one of those comedies in which Europeans have the secret. While the Ministers of Justice and Interior Twenty-eight had gathered in Brussels on Monday for an extraordinary meeting on the crisis in the asylum, the German decision has indeed caused a domino effect. Austria, Slovakia and the Czech Republic also announced the reinstatement of border controls, while the Netherlands announced their intention to increase the number of random inspections. In short, the sacrosanct principle of free movement of persons seemed to take water from all sides.
However, only Germany had officially notified the Commission of its intentions, which are based on a provision of the Schengen agreement authorizing the temporary and exceptional reintroduction of internal border controls if circumstances “unpredictable” dictate.
The Franco-German duo maneuver
In this context, discussions on the second part of the hosting plan of refugees put on the table by Jean-Claude Juncker announced even more difficult. Remember, it wishes to impose on Member States the mandatory quotas host up to 120,000 asylum seekers. This figure is in addition to 40,000 refugees to whom Twenty-eight have already committed to offer hospitality in June. This proposal, however, faces the brunt of the hostility of several countries: the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Hungary and Poland – although, according to some sources, Warsaw shows more open to discussion.
For their part, the French and German ministers, Bernard Cazeneuve and Thomas de Maiziere, have openly displayed their common front. Supporters of fair and compulsory distribution of effort between Member States, Paris and Berlin have primarily focused on their desire to see this extraordinary Council previously lead to the definition of a series of measures to reassure their partners in Central and Eastern Europe.
At the head of these priorities, clarify in detail the role of the famous “hot spots”, these sorting centers and recording that the European authorities want to implement in the country of entry of refugees into the European territory; namely Italy, Greece and Hungary. Centers which would be made a distinction between asylum seekers in genuine need of international protection and economic migrants doomed to immediate dismissal. Centers from which could then be organized redistribution of refugees among member states.However remained in convincing the Hungarians who refuse to regard as a front-line countries, since asylum seekers arriving on their territory are usually first passed by Greece.
Controls and Returns
France and Germany have also strongly emphasized the need to organize without waiting for the return of rejected candidates and the establishment of “an effective and powerful device to control external borders’of the Union, but also on strengthening humanitarian resources allocated to Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, which host many Syrian refugees. The hope is to reach to curb the flow of departures to the EU from these countries.
The aim of the operation was to reach an agreement in principle on these proposals and a consensus on the reception of 120,000 additional refugees. But this strategy has drawn a blank. If all the preventive and safe nature of the general component collected downstream, it has not been the same on sensitive subjects. Shortly after 22h, the Luxembourg Minister Jean Asselborn nevertheless put forward the bottle half full, emphasizing that a ‘very large majority’ of Member States showed themselves favorable to the proposed relocation of 120,000 people. A clever way of saying that the Eastern countries are still opposed to it …
To try to resolve the situation, a new Extraordinary Council of Ministers could be convened next week in anticipation of the October 8 normally on the calendar.
A qualified majority voting, including the compulsory distribution of asylum applicants between Member States, could then take place. Although in this case, it is unlikely that one imposes compulsory solidarity to countries that do not obviously want.