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Permanent relocation scheme and list of safe countries of origin: state of play

02-12-2015

Two legislative proposals to tackle the migration and refugee crisis, one on a permanent mechanism for relocating people in need of international protection among EU member states under extreme pressure and another on an EU common list of safe countries of origin, were debated by the Civil Liberties Committee with the EU Commission, Council of Ministers, European Asylum Support Office (EASO) and Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) on Tuesday afternoon.

These two proposals, presented by the European Commission on 9 September 2015, will be negotiated by Parliament and Council on an equal footing, under the co-decision procedure.

The Civil Liberties Committee discussed the permanent relocation mechanism with the Commission, which presented its proposal to MEPs, and the Council, which briefed the committee on the state of play in discussions among member states. The European Asylum Support Office (EASO) also presented the "State of play of relocation operations in the hot spots".

The EU common list of safe countries of origin was also discussed with the Commission and Council. The EASO presented the situation in the Western Balkans while FRA spoke on fundamental rights considerations.

The Civil Liberties Committee rapporteur on a permanent relocation mechanism is Timothy Kirkhope (ECR, UK), and its rapporteur on an EU common list of safe countries of origin is Sylvie Guillaume (S&D, FR).

You can watch the video recording of the debates on EP Live (soon available).

Note to editors

A permanent relocation mechanism for all member states

As announced in the European Agenda on Migration, the Commission is proposing a permanent relocation mechanism which could be triggered any time by the Commission to help any EU member state experiencing an “emergency situation” and extreme pressure on its asylum system as a result of a large and disproportionate inflow of third country nationals.

Such "emergency situations" would be defined by the Commission based on the ratio of asylum applications to the receiving country’s population size and the number of irregular border crossings in the previous six months. The same aim and "distribution criteria" will apply as for the emergency relocation proposals already approved in September.

A common European list of safe countries of origin

The proposed EU common list of safe countries of origin would allow swifter processing of individual asylum applications by migrants originating from countries that the EU deems “safe”, and for faster returns if individual assessments of their applications show that they have no right of asylum.

In its proposal, the Commission says that Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey should be included to the EU list of safe countries of origin.

Permanent crisis relocation mechanism - procedure fileEU common list of safe countries of origin - procedure file