Ahead of the Polish Presidency, the Commission proposed today modifications to the Asylum Reception Conditions and Asylum Procedures Directives (tabled respectively in 2008 and 2009) to overcome the ongoing impasse and give new impetus to negotiations. ALDE welcomes that the revised proposals maintain the core purpose of the original directives and calls on the Council to avoid wasting more time.HIRSCH_90.png

“We regret that the Commission had to present “recasts of recasts”, because this “small steps strategy” implies a risk of watering down the whole asylum package. However, now we won’t make any further concessions and Member States must not use the current political unrest in Northern Africa as a pretext to slow down the process. A Common European Asylum System must be in place by 2012.” said ALDE spokesperson for the asylum file Nadja Hirsch (FDP, Germany) re-evoking this same commitment taken by the European Council in December 2009, when adopting the ‘Stockholm Programme’.

“ALDE congratulates the fact that the core purpose underlying the original proposals remains unaltered. We also welcome the inclusion of some ALDE priorities such as the right to effective remedies in the processing of claims, the right to information and advice, and a clear mention of the extent to which Member States may accelerate the treatment of certain applications”, she added

“The European Parliament will not back down on its requirements for a common approach in receiving and handling migrants in a dignified, fair and efficient way. Now time is ticking and the ball is clearly in the Council’s camp with no more time to waste,” she concluded.weber_90.jpg

ALDE coordinator in the Civil Liberties Committee, Renate Weber (PNL, Romania) said: “We all know that Member States have different procedural and reception systems and different national traditions. But now it is time to strike a better balance between these specificities and the need to have common EU standards. The proposals keep the financial and administrative burden at low levels and minimise any abuse of the asylum system. Parliament’s position has already been adopted. The Council has no excuse anymore not to move forward.”