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EU Deportation regimes policy

23rd January 2004 EU-Council of Ministers for Justice and Home Affairs in Dublin Cautions of UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) Ruud Lubbers PRO ASYL: The ministers are executing the agenda of restrictions unaffectedly PRO ASYL appreciates Lubbers' critical diagnosis of the asylum system's state in Europe, but not the bigger part of his proposals for a changed asylum system. Yesterday UNHCR Ruud Lubbers was addressing the EU-Council of Ministers for Justice and Home Affairs cautioning about the collapse of the asylum system especially in the ten countries joining the EU.

If thousands of additional asylum seekers would be sent back to EU-inland by EU-states, the little available asylum systems in the joining states would be overextended. Likewise vehemently Lubbers criticized the contemporary setting of the directive for the asylum procedure that has not been adopted yet. It would contain possibilities - namely in 23 categories - to exclude asylum seekers to a large extent of the asylum procedure without legal revision. Lubbers observes a downtrend to a more and more restrictive asylum law as well as the fact that refugees have more and more trouble in finding protection in Europe at all. Germany's and some other states' forcing of a "super-third-state arrangement" subordinates this trend. For the future problem states like Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Macedonia and Turkey would be made to potential "secure third-states" by that arrangement.

But Lubbers ignores that the Council of Ministers in Dublin is executing its agenda of restrictions unaffectedly. Lubbers' proposals as well add up to disburden the EU-states that are more and more unwilling to protect and to a lesser extend burdened in numbers. Should there really be EU-admission centres at the outer borders and special categories of asylum seekers be treated by EU-teams so the consequence would be that rejected asylum seekers would land in the preliminary states of the extended EU in great numbers. Lubbers' proposal to accept admitted refugees in a framework of a system of shared load means in practice: the controlled admission of a probable low number of refugees in a framework of restrictive procedure arrangements. German Minister of Interior Otto Schily used the conference illustrating his colleagues once more that the European harmonisation has to wait for a result of the inner German debate on the immigration law. In the meantime he takes over an offensive role in the implementation of further measures against refugees.

The statement of a majority of refugees in Germany being Turkish citizens prompted Schily to engage for an EU-agreement on retransfer with Turkey. The fact of continuous violation of human rights and torture in Turkey was overrode by Schily. An EU-stock provided with 30 million shall finance the corporate retransfer measures, whereas it is especially thought about a reinforced use of deportation charter flights. The Counil of the EU had already agreed on arranging the practice of charter flights on a community level - without waiting for a position of the European Parliament. The French refugees' organisation Cimade had been protesting in a call, that has been signed in the meantime by many European organisations, against the abasing practice of charter flights (http://www.cimade.org/petitions).

The practice of accumulative deportations in chartered machines resulted inevitably in authorities disregarding examinations of the individual situations. As well the compulsory execution of such accumulative deportations is only realisable by the use of police methods and techniques which could get out of hand in form of brutality and violence at any time and which lead to bodily harm or even to death of the deportees. Set on the agenda by Schily on the fringes of the conference: the deportation of Afghan refugees which the last German conference of Ministers of Interior still considered impossible. Where German policemen, soldiers and members of aid organisations are working, said Schily, there Afghan refugees must also be able to live. That simple also the text blocks of negative answers of Schily's Federal Office for the Recognition of Foreign Refugees (BAFL) read. In this manner Schily from Dublin incites the German Ministers of Interior to an aggravated "retransfer-politics" that is widely ignoring the seurity situation on the spot.

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