Syrian and Iraqi immigrants getting off a boat from Turkey on the Greek island of Lesbos

Bishops call for “people-centred” asylum policies in EU

The Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) is calling on EU member states to adopt “people-centred asylum policies”.

Driving the news

In a press release Tuesday, COMECE welcomed the publication of the 2019 European Asylum Support Office report.

It called on European Governments “to respect international law obligations with regards to anyone looking for international protection in their territories”.

The Asylum Office reported that in May the monthly number of applications for international protection lodged in the 30 EU+ countries (European Union Member States plus Norway and Switzerland) remained stable with respect to April, at about 57,000.

However since the start of the year, some 287,500 applications have been lodged.

That is 14% more than the same time last year, the Asylum Office said.

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One level deeper

The Asylum Office figures reveal that EU+ states are coping with a yearly increase in asylum applications.

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But they are also turning down more and more applications. The recognition rate has gone down over the past six months, to 32%.

EU+ states are also dealing with a bigger and bigger backlog of cases. Applications still awaiting a decision have gone up by 16,300 in the year to May.

For the record

The statistics evidence the need for “people-centred asylum policies” in the EU+ region.

The COMECE recalled that “international protection is a concrete solidarity tool towards those persons who are suffering persecutions or violence in their own country”.

“COMECE encourages EU Member States to place human dignity at the center of their asylum policies and judicial/administrative decisions”, it concluded.

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