Ministerial Seminar on Asylum and Combating Illegal Immigration [fr]
All the main European and international players face the same challenges with respect to asylum and the struggle against undocumented immigration: meeting their international commitments and living up to their tradition of welcoming and protecting others, while
deterring and dismantling the clandestine organisations that circumvent the procedures and organise human trafficking and migrant smuggling.
With 183,440 requests for asylum recorded in 2009, i.e. 50% of all requests submitted to the industrialised countries, the United States, France, Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany are the world’s five leading countries of destination for asylum seekers.
The land and maritime borders of Greece account for fully 75% of the undocumented crossings detected at the external borders of the European Union. The flows are a combination of people seeking to immigrate without documentation and people seeking international protection, and it poses a major challenge for Greece and for the entire
Schengen area. Italy also faces migratory pressures in the Mediterranean.
While the number of requests for asylum remains stable in the European Union as a whole, Belgium, Germany and France recorded an increase of 28%, 20% and 15% respectively in 2009.
These discrepancies spotlight the need to approximate the European asylum systems in order to ensure better protection of people facing persecution while discouraging the clandestine people-smuggling organisations that exploit differences in country risk analysis, procedures and rights granted to asylum seekers. In some European countries, tensions over the asylum regime are jeopardising the national asylum system and its ability to efficiently and effectively process requests for asylum.
The visit in France by Jason Kenney, Canadian Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, offers an opportunity for the Ministers in charge of asylum and the struggle against illegal immigration of the main countries affected by these issues, as well as for the European commissioner, responsible for home affairs, to discuss their experiences
and consider further operational cooperation :
› National situations with respect to asylum and undocumented immigration.
› Planned changes in asylum systems and prospects at European level in the run-up to the ministerial conference on asylum organised by the Belgian presidency of the European Union on 13th and 14th September in Brussels.
› Possible closer practices among the main countries of asylum-seeker destination at the world level, notably in terms of country risk analysis.
› Operational efforts pooling to dismantle illegal immigration channels, including cooperation with the countries of origin and transit.