During an informal meeting of home affairs ministers in Copenhagen, on 26 January, the European Commission appears to have definitively backed the creation of a rapid alert system to prepare for crises and manage emergencies within the Dublin II Regulation, which is currently being revised(1).

This rapid alert system was proposed by member mtates as an alternative to the system of suspending asylum transfers for countries dealing with high levels of migration, initially proposed by the Commission but rejected in Council (by Germany, France and the United Kingdom).

Proposed in 2008, the reform of the Dublin II Regulation includes different clauses aiming to identify as quickly as possible the member state responsible for examining an asylum application, thereby increasing solidarity between member states. However, negotiations remain fraught, since member states are balking at committing to a restrictive text. The dossier is so controversial that on 21 December 2011, the Court of Justice of the EU issued a judgement imposing limits on its application.

"There seems to be agreement on the fact that we need an evaluation, and a rapid alert system that will allow us to detect problems" within the asylum systems of member states, predict problems and in this way minimise costs, said Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom. Nonetheless, "we should advance and be more concrete," she said, warning that this system "will not be enough" and "we need a common European asylum system".


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