European union agrees on new asylum law

European union agrees on new asylum law

EU interior ministers approved a package of laws to reform european asylum policy on friday in luxembourg. Five legal texts are to ensure that persecuted persons find the same rules everywhere in the EU and receive better protection. The new requirements are to come into force in the middle of the year.

In practice, many things will become easier: asylum procedures will be shortened and will generally last only six months. Protection for minors will be increased, applicants will have better rights to appeal their cases. As before, asylum applications must be processed in the country where the applicant first enters the EU (dublin regulation).

Eu interior commissioner cecilia malmstrom assumes that asylum procedures can be decided "more fairly, more quickly and better" in the future. 330,000 asylum applications were filed in the EU last year.

Federal interior minister hans-peter friedrich (CSU) buried the reform, saying the european union now has "the world’s most modern refugee law with high standards".

Under pressure from germany, the so-called airport procedure, which allows applicants who are clearly hopeless to be expelled quickly, has been preserved. In fight against criminals, police and judiciary get access to eurodac database, where fingerprints of asylum seekers are stored for three years.

The european parliament will formally adopt the asylum package next week, which is expected to happen soon.