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EU countries want asylum treatment in third countries

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Migrants who are rescued in the Mediterranean should be sent to a third country outside the EU to have their asylum applications processed there, a group of EU countries believes. Photo: AP / NTB

Of NTB | 06.05.2024 13:04:24

Policy: The group, which is led by Denmark and the Czech Republic, is now preparing a letter to the European Commission, writes the news website Euractiv Monday. The group demands a radical change in the approach to illegal immigration.

On Tuesday next week, the EU countries are expected to give a final green light to the EU’s new migration and asylum pact.

– There you can find a permanent solution for them, says the letter.

– It is a way of opening up what was previously unthinkable, but which is becoming more and more necessary, says a high-ranking Czech source to the newspaper Hospodarske Noviny.

Last year, Italy concluded such an agreement with Albania. At the end of April this year, the UK followed suit and decided to send asylum seekers to Rwanda.

Besides Denmark and the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, the Baltic countries and Italy have backed the initiative, according to Euractiv.

In France, on the other hand, many are opposed to the idea of ​​sending asylum seekers to third countries, so-called externalisation.

– Sending people to countries that have nothing in common with their homeland, such as Albania or Rwanda, is a moral and ethical problem, says the French politician Sacha Houlié.

Human rights organizations have also sharply criticized the idea.

According to migration expert Vit Novotny at the Wilfried Martens Center for European Studies, it is a challenge that the new asylum rules only apply on EU territory.

– The desire for change is understandable, and the door is there, but the legal road is long, he says.

In the letter, the countries request that migrants trying to enter the EU should be transferred to selected third countries and have their asylum applications processed there, before they are possibly deported back to their home country.

The letter also outlines a possibility to transfer migrants who are already in the EU, but have not been granted asylum, to a country outside the EU. There they can stay until they are deported.

Experts, for their part, doubt whether such a measure can even be carried out.

(© NTB)

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