2019. 12. 05.
Press Release by MEP Tamás Deutsch
A special report of the European Court of Auditors (ECA) was presented today in the Budgetary Control Committee of the European Parliament. The report examined whether EU funds provided to Greece and Italy, two countries particularly affected by the refugee crisis, were used properly and achieved the desired results. Fidesz MEP Tamás Deutsch MEP is the committee responsible for the report.
The European Court of Auditors paints a disastrous picture of the examined programs. The report clearly shows that the resettlement system has failed and despite the generous pro-immigration EU support, it has not been possible to speed up the procedures for examining asylum applications, to make expulsions more effective and asylum seekers continue to be held in critical conditions, especially in camps in Greece.
The vast majority (more than 80% in certain countries) of migrants resettled in another EU Member State flee to other places. The report points out that there is still no follow-up mechanism to know where asylum seekers are, because most of them leave Greece and Italy without having their fingerprints taken, which would be the only way to identify them later. This, of course, represents a huge security threat.
The EU hotspot system has also failed. The ECA report found empty stations in Italy and overcrowded ones in Greece, and proved that hotspots cannot effectively handle the day-to-day waves of refugees. The length of processing applications has nearly doubled in both countries in the past few years as asylum seekers know very well how to delay the final decision. In Italy, asylum applications reach the final appeal stage in more than four years after applying.
The expulsion system does not work either as the actual number of expulsions is extremely low everywhere. The capacity of airplanes, which should repatriate rejected asylum seekers to their country of origin, is mainly unused, and migrants can move forward even after having received the final return decisions. As the report underlines, the European Union does not have any information on how many repatriated asylum seekers try to re-enter the EU.
These are the devastating facts revealed by the EU’s own internal investigation. “Immediate action has to be taken. National authorities should be further strengthened and Member States have to be given more resources for border protection. A completely new approach is needed. A new EU asylum policy has to be developed that will halt immigration, has the capacity to handle asylum applications outside the EU’s borders and which sets up an effective return system”, pointed out Tamás Deutsch at the CONT committee meeting.