Harder for Denmark to return asylum seekers within EU: report

Harder for Denmark to return asylum seekers within EU: report
File photo: Erik Refner/Ritzau Scanpix
It has become more difficult for Denmark to return asylum seekers to other European countries in which they were previously registered.

Ministry of Immigration and Integration figures show a drop in the proportion of people who left Denmark on this basis, newspaper Kristeligt Dagblad reports.

In 2013 and 2014, other European countries refused to accept returning asylum seekers in 10.7 and 22.5 percent of cases respectively.

That measure increased to 48 percent in 2016 and 34 percent in 2017.

Marlene Wind, a professor at the University of Copenhagen who specialises in EU law and politics, said she was surprised at the lack of agreement between Denmark and European countries on how to manage migrants that move between states.

“The Dublin rules state that there must be reciprocity in relation to asylum seekers whose cases have already been assessed in another EU country. That means it should be possible to send an asylum seeker back to the first country in which that person was registered,” Wind told Kristeligt Dagblad.

“So it surprises me that this is not working. But it shows, as experts have said for a year, that the Dublin Regulation is not working,” the professor continued.

Government leaders from across the EU last week met a summit in Brussels, where the issue of how to manage migration and refugees was top of the agenda.

At the summit, Germany secured an agreement with other EU countries to send some of its asylum seekers back to EU states in which they were originally registered after arriving in Europe, in accordance with the Dublin Regulation.

Researcher Catharina Sørensen of Danish thinktank Tænketanken Europa said one of the problems with returning asylum seekers was historical precedent.

“During the migration crisis [in 2015, ed.], several countries failed to register asylum seekers, who were then able to trickle up through Europe.

“Now Germany is pushing for the rules to be followed. But there is a risk of the system breaking down because there remains a strong desire to limit migration,” Sørensen told Kristeligt Dagblad.

READ ALSO: 'We can do it alone': Danish PM on foreign-based refugee expulsion centre