Reactions to the ECJ decision on asylum law in EU

Written by on March 7, 2017 in Europe - Comments Off on Reactions to the ECJ decision on asylum law in EU

Uproar has greeted the European Court of Justice’s decision on asylum law in Europe. Last year, more than 5,000 people drowned in the Mediterranean en route to Europe.

The decision has been handed down, but one question remains. “How can someone who is guaranteed international protection reach a European border?” Eugenio Ambrosi, director of the Brussels regional office of the International Organization for Migration, wants to know. Existing law only applies when a person arrives on EU soil. “This is a loophole that only the union can close,” Ambrosi said.

Last year, more than 5,000 people drowned in the Mediterranean Sea while attempting to escape war or other unsustainable conditions. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) had the opportunity to create a legal path to prevent future tragedies.

Yet ECJ judges in Luxembourg reached a different decision, finding instead that EU member states were not obliged to issue humanitarian visas at their embassies. Individual member states are responsible for their own applications, they ruled, and thus nations are entitled to accept or deny people as they see fit.

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(Photo: UNHCR)

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