Monday , July 15 2024
Home / News / Politics / Refugees / EC seeks 370K refugees’ “fingerprints” & threatens 5 EU countries with Court

EC seeks 370K refugees’ “fingerprints” & threatens 5 EU countries with Court

The European Commission increased pressure on Greece, Italy, Malta, Croatia and Hungary to register the fingerprints of all refugees and economic migrants  entering the European Union. In a statement released on Thursday, the EC threatens the 5 EU-member states with “infringement proceedings” for failing to comply with the EU directives that want all refugees and migrants to be registered with the EU database Eurodac.

Based on data supplied by the FRONTEX, the EC is searching for several thousands of “lost” fingerprints.

Citing EC Commission officials, Euobserver notes, that:

The Frontex found that 65,000 migrants arrived by sea in Italy, whereas 29,000 were fingerprinted and entered into the database.

In Greece, 492,000 arrivals were registered and only 121,000 fingerprinted.

Croatia saw 340,000 people arriving since 16 September and only registered 575 in Eurodac.

The EC also demands from Greece and Malta to fully implement the Cmmon European Asylum System.

If the 5 EU-members states fail to comply with the regulations, “the Commission may decide to refer the Member States to the Court of Justice of the EU,” the EC statement threatens.

Before the EC takes Greece, Italy, Croatia, Malta and Hungary to court, the EU should take a minute and contemplate on what the EU can do for the issue.

For the registration to Eurodac system, the countries need special devices. Greece, for example, should have 300 devices but it has only some 50 available, Germany was supposed to send another 40.

From the 160,000 refugees that were supposed to be resettled to EU countries, only 159 have left Greece for Luxembourg and other countries.

To the EC threats, Greece, the country that faces the biggest flow of refugees and migrants, has not reacted so far.

But Italy did. Italian interior minister Angelino Alfano said it would be “unreasonable” of the European Commission to open infraction proceedings against Italy.

“For the work we’ve done, the only thing we deserve from the EU is a thank you,” Alfano said according to ANSA news agency.

Below the European Commission press release:

Implementing the Common European Asylum System: Commission escalates 8 infringement proceedings

Brussels, 10 December 2015

Implementing the Common European Asylum System: Commission escalates 8 infringement proceedings

The European Commission adopted today 8 infringement decisions for failing to fully transpose and implement the Common European Asylum System. The decisions concern Greece, Croatia, Italy, Malta and Hungary (see IP/15/6228). Today’s measures follow the 40 decisions launched on 23 September 2015, in addition to the 34 already pending cases, on potential or actual infringements of EU asylum legislation. The Commission will continue to pursue infringement procedures swiftly and effectively to ensure full compliance with EU legislation in this area.

The Commission is today urging Greece, Croatia and Italy to correctly implement the Eurodac Regulation (Regulation (EU) No 603/2013), which provides for effective fingerprinting of asylum seekers and transmission of data to the Eurodac central system within 72 hours. Effective implementation of the Eurodac Regulation is essential for the functioning of the Dublin system and EU relocation schemes. The European Commission sent administrative letters to Greece, Croatia and Italy in October. Two months later, concerns have not been effectively addressed. The European Commission has therefore decided today to send Letters of Formal Notice to Greece, Croatia and Italy (the first step of an infringement procedure).

The   Commission is also urging Greece and Malta to communicate the national measures taken to fully transpose the Asylum Procedures Directive (Directive 2013/32/EU), which sets out common procedures for granting and withdrawing international protection, and the Reception Conditions Directive (Directive 2013/33/EU), which deals with access to reception conditions for asylum seekers while they wait for examination of their applications. Greece and Malta have not communicated the necessary transposition measures. Letters of Formal Notice were sent on 23 September 2015 to Greece, Malta and 16 other Member States concerning the Asylum Procedures Directive. Letters of Formal Notice were also sent to Greece, Malta and 17 other Member States on the same date concerning the Reception Conditions Directive. Despite these letters, Greece and Malta have not yet notified the Commission of their transposition measures. Therefore the Commission has decided today to address ‘Reasoned Opinions’ to both Member States concerning both Directives.

Next Steps

Letters of formal notice are the first formal step of an infringement procedure. After receiving a letter of formal notice, Member States have two months to reply and in cases of non-communication have to notify their national transposition measures to the Commission. In the absence of satisfactory replies or of notification of national measures, the European Commission can decide to send reasoned opinions, the second step in an infringement proceeding.

After Member States receive reasoned opinions, they have two months to respond to the Commission, notifying the measures taken to ensure full transposition or bring national legislation in line with EU law. If they fail to do so, the Commission may decide to refer the Member States to the Court of Justice of the EU. In cases where there is no communication of the national transposition measures, the Commission may propose to the Court of Justice of the EU to impose financial sanctions.

Background

The Eurodac database was established in 2003 and is an EU asylum fingerprint database. When someone applies for asylum or is apprehended having crossed an external border irregularly from a third country their fingerprints are taken and transmitted to the Eurodac central system. The recast Eurodac Regulation entered into force on 20 July 2015 and introduced updates to the system, in particular to ensure data is transmitted within 72 hours to the Central System, to address data protection concerns and to help combat terrorism and serious crime.

The Asylum Procedures Directive (Directive 2013/32/EU) establishes rules on the process of claiming asylum, including on how to apply, how the application will be examined, what help the asylum seeker will be given, how to appeal or how to deal with repeated applications. It applies to all applications for international protection made in the territory, including at the border, in the territorial waters or in the transit zones of the Member States.  Member States were under an obligation to transpose this Directive and communicate their transposition measures by 20 July 2015 (with the exception of Article 31(3), (4) and (5) for which the transposition deadline is 20 July 2018).

The Reception Conditions Directive (Directive 2013/33/EU) deals with access to reception conditions for asylum seekers while they wait for the examination of their claim. It ensures that applicants have access to housing, food, healthcare and employment, as well as medical and psychological care. It ensures that detention of applicants is always in line with fundamental rights and restricts the detention of vulnerable persons, in particular minors. Member States had to transpose the Directive and communicate their transposition measures by 20 July 2015.

Since the early 2000s, the Commission has proposed a number of legislative acts aimed at building a Common European Asylum System. The European Union now has common standards for the way asylum seekers are received and their asylum applications are processed. The EU has also established common criteria which national authorities use to determine whether someone is entitled to international protection.

Five different pieces of legislation form the core of the Common European Asylum System (the Dublin Regulation, the Asylum Procedures Directive, the Qualification Directive, the Reception Conditions Directive and the EURODAC Regulation).

On 13 May 2015, the European Commission presented its European Agenda on Migration, setting out a comprehensive approach for improving the management of migration in all its aspects. This included a commitment to prioritise implementation of the Common European Asylum System. Previously, on 23 September 2015, the Commission adopted 40 decisions on potential or actual infringements of EU asylum legislation, in addition to the 34 already pending cases. (via EU Commission)

refugees eu

More than 3,500 fingerprints lost in the Aegean & Mediterranean Sea

PS Paraphrasing JFK:

“And so, my fellow European Commission: ask not what EU member countries country can do for you—ask what you can do for the EU member countries & their problems.” Especially, when their problems are your problems too.

Check Also

Greeks, Afghans, Iranians arrested for attacks in synagogue, Israeli hotel in Athens

Greece’s counter-terrorism units arrested a total of seven individuals over two separate cases of arson …

One comment

  1. This is obviously the product of some office bound jobs worth in Brussels. They do not know what is happening on the front line, they do not consider that the rules were made before the present crisis started or was envisioned. The counteries concerned have not been provided with the wherewithal to comply, due to the size of the problem. EU money and promises of the “Earth on a plate” have been made to a none EU country, in return for stopping the flow of migrants to Greece, but still they come, perhapse the money would be better spent helping the migrants who keep arriving in Greece, it should be managed by a refuge charity as clearly polititions both in the affected countries and the EU have shown they are not capable,perhaps due to their usual self interest