EU States Demand Rwanda-Style Migrant Deportation Schemes

Nineteen European Union member states, led by the Czech Republic and Italy, are seeking to introduce Rwanda-style deportation schemes for migrants, citing the UK's policy as a model, amidst a broader effort to reform the EU's asylum system and address the ongoing migration crisis. The proposed schemes aim to deter illegal migration by transferring asylum seekers outside the EU, sparking debate over the effectiveness and human rights implications of such policies." This description focuses on the primary topic of EU member states seeking to introduce Rwanda-style deportation schemes, the main entities involved (EU member states, Czech Republic, Italy, and the UK), the context of the EU's asylum system and migration crisis, and the significant actions and implications of the proposed policies. The description also provides objective and relevant details that will help an AI generate an accurate visual representation of the article's content, such as the concept of deportation schemes, asylum seekers, and the EU's asylum system.

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Bijay Laxmi
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EU States Demand Rwanda-Style Migrant Deportation Schemes

EU States Demand Rwanda-Style Migrant Deportation Schemes

Nineteen European Union member states, led by the Czech Republic and Italy, are demanding the right to introduce Rwanda-style deportation schemes for migrants, citing the United Kingdom's policy as a model. The move comes amid signs that the UK's strategy of transferring asylum seekers to Rwanda is already having a deterrent effect on illegal migration, even though the first flights have yet to take off.

Why this matters: This development has significant implications for the future of asylum and migration policy in Europe, as it could lead to a shift in the way EU countries approach illegal migration. If successful, it could also influence global migration policies, potentially affecting millions of people worldwide.

The group of EU countries, which also includes Denmark, are asking Brussels to allow them to transfer migration procedures outside the bloc's territory. UK government sources believe the development shows that "the fundamentals of our plan are making sense to people across the world."

Czech Premier Petr Fiala stated, "The Czech Republic and Italy are among the countries that want to go beyond where the migration pact has taken us and want to find a real solution to illegal migration, which we do not yet have in Europe." The proposals are likely to be considered by the EU Commission after the upcoming European elections.

Denmark has already signed a memorandum of understanding with Rwanda, expressing the Danish government's vision that asylum application processing should take place outside the EU to break the current system's negative incentive structure. Italy has also hailed a pact with Albania to process thousands of asylum seekers arriving by sea.

The push for Rwanda-style schemes comes as the EU grapples with the challenges of its asylum system. The bloc has struggled to handle the influx of migrants since 2015, with member countries divided over responsibility sharing and the obligation to assist one another. In 2023, 3.5 million migrants arrived legally in Europe, while an estimated 1 million others were on EU territory without permission.

EU government ministers have approved a New Pact on Migration and Asylum, consisting of 10 legislative acts aimed at reforming the European framework for asylum and migration management. However, critics argue that the pact will allow nations to detain migrants at borders and fingerprint children, infringing on their right to claim asylum. The reform package is set to enter into force in 2026, offering no immediate solution to the ongoing crisis.

As EU member states look to the UK's Rwanda policy for inspiration, the debate over the best approach to tackling illegal migration continues. While proponents argue that such schemes can deter illegal crossings and break the business model of human smugglers, others maintain that they fail to address the root causes of migration and risk violating international human rights obligations. The outcome of the EU Commission's deliberations on the proposals will have significant implications for the future of asylum and migration policy in Europe.

Key Takeaways

  • 19 EU countries want to introduce Rwanda-style deportation schemes for migrants.
  • UK's Rwanda policy is seen as a model, despite no flights having taken off yet.
  • EU countries want to transfer migration procedures outside the bloc's territory.
  • Denmark and Italy have already signed agreements with Rwanda and Albania.
  • EU's asylum system is struggling, with 1 million migrants in the EU without permission.