Due to the high migrant burden on the European Union (EU), the asylum system in the EU needs to be improved. This opinion was expressed on Wednesday, February 1, by the President of the European Commission (EC), Ursula von der Leyen.
“Asylum and reception systems in Member States are under significant strain. And the fact is that most asylum seekers do not need protection,” she explained.
The head of the EC noted that at the same time, the rate of return of migrants home from the EU is kept at the level of only 22%. Moreover, according to von der Leyen, 330,000 refugees crossed EU borders illegally in 2022, a record since 2016.
In this regard, von der Leyen proposed changing the European Union’s legislative approach to accepting refugees and migrants. In addition, the head of the EC proposed to quickly strengthen the protection of the external borders of the European Union, as well as organize “faster and more worthy returns” of illegal immigrants.
“Migration is a very complex issue. It is a matter of understanding each other’s problems and a matter of working together,” she added.
A day earlier, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that more than 8 million refugees from Ukraine had arrived in European countries since February last year. According to the UNHCR, 4.8 million Ukrainians fell under temporary protection and support programs.
On January 26, European Commissioner for Internal Affairs Ylva Johansson said that there are currently 4 million refugees from Ukraine in the European Union. According to her, many EU countries are currently experiencing migration pressure.
Prior to this, on January 1, Bloomberg, citing government statistics, reported that 45,000 illegal migrants arrived in the UK through the English Channel in a year.
On December 3, the head of the European People’s Party, the leading faction of the European Parliament, Manfred Weber said that Europe, especially Germany, will face a new migration crisis this winter. According to him, Germany is not ready for such a situation.