“Malta is too burdened with asylum-seekers” – MEPs


Civil Liberties Committee Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) stated that frontline countries bear a disproportionate burden in terms of registration and reception of asylum-seekers. These countries are, namely, Malta, Greece, Italy, Cyprus, and Spain..

The committee notes that the 2013 Dublin III Regulation puts a “disproportionate responsibility on a minority of member states”, especially when large numbers of arrivals occur. It stated that there is an inappropriate application of the hierarchy of criteria – in particular the excessive use of the first country of entry criterion. Furthermore, there is ineffective implementation of transfers.

MEPs called for a solidarity-based mechanism to ensure the fundamental right to asylum in the EU and the equal distribution of responsibility among member states. They stated that they regret that the European Council, contrary to Parliament, did not agree for a reform the Dublin Regulation. Therefore, the Union was left with the “same set of rules which have proven to be ineffective” in managing high numbers of arrivals.

They insisted that ad hoc agreements on relocation cannot replace a harmonised and sustainable Common European and Asylum System and demand more resources and capabilities for frontline member states as long as the Dublin rules are not reformed.

The non-legislative text was approved with 45 votes to 10 and 13 abstentions. It will be put to the vote by the full House during the next plenary session. You can read more about the draft resolution here.