Lithuania will not support EU asylum system reform until borders secured – Grybauskaitė

Dalia Grybauskaitė
AFP/Scanpix

Her statements came in reaction to the European Commission‘s calls on Wednesday to overhaul the EU’s rules on granting refuge so that the burden of refugees and migrants would be spread more equally.

“We are skeptical of the European Commission’s suggestion to fundamentally change the Dublin regulation. The Dublin regulation already has many instruments and can be used well. Therefore, it would be better to strengthen the implementation of the existing refuge laws and their implementation. We cannot agree to the refuge-seeker distribution mechanism being proposed because it violates the principle of voluntarism and will create additional points of attraction for refugees to Europe. As long as the EU’s external borders are not fully protected, Lithuania will not support the proposal of such radical changes,” said Grybauskaitė.

The Dublin rules demand that migrants register in the EU countries that they first arrived in, and if they’ve left for other countries in the union, they should be returned.

At a press conference in Brussels on Wednesday, Frans Timmermans, the First Vice-President of the European Commission, said that the European refuge system must be reformed because it doesn’t work.

The Dublin rules that are currently in effect are considered outdated and unfair to countries like Greece, which has been the arrival point for most of the 1.25 million Syrians, Iraqis, Afghans and other migrants who have reached Europe recently.

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