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Merkel says EU's asylum rules 'obsolete'

08 october 2015, 14:23
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French President Francois Hollande (R) shakes hands with German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) during their joint address at the European Parliament. ©AFP
French President Francois Hollande (R) shakes hands with German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) during their joint address at the European Parliament. ©AFP

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday described as "obsolete" European Union asylum rules that put the onus on EU states where migrants first arrive to process their refugee claims, AFP reports.

"Let's be frank. The Dublin process, in its current form, is obsolete," Merkel said in a joint speech to the European Parliament with French President Francois Hollande.

The process, which puts the pressure on frontline states like Italy and Greece to welcome most of the migrants, "started from good intentions, without a doubt, but the challenges raised at our borders are from now on untenable," Merkel told lawmakers in the French city of Strasbourg.

"I appeal for a new procedure" to redistribute asylum seekers "fairly" throughout the 28-nation bloc, the chancellor said.

Germany is Europe's top destination for people fleeing war and misery in Europe's greatest migrant influx since World War II. Europe's richest economy expects between 800,000 and one million newcomers this year. 

Numbers have surged since Germany declared it would admit Syrians, even if they technically should have applied for refugee status in the first EU country they set foot in on their way to Germany.


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