Európska migračná sieť

Európska migračná sieť (EMN) poskytuje aktuálne, objektívne, spoľahlivé a porovnateľné informácie o migrácii a azyle na účely tvorby politík EÚ. Koordinátorom Národného kontaktného bodu EMN v SR je Medzinárodná organizácia pre migráciu (IOM). Informácie o EMN nájdete na www.ec.europa.eu/emn a o aktivitách Národného kontaktného bodu EMN v SR na tejto webstránke.

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On 15 December 2016, EMN National Contact Point for Ireland organised the EMN National Conference entitled Responding to the Refugee Crisis. The conference was held in Dublin and the speakers discussed good practices and challenges in relation to the current migration situation in Europe.

The first panel focused on content and policy framework of the refugee crisis and welcomed Jim Clarken from Oxfam Ireland who pointed out rising anti-immigrant and nationalistic sentiments across EU Member States as well as foreign policy of numerous countries aiming at stopping irregular migration. In the end, he also summed up steps taken by Ireland as regards resettlement: Since 2000, the Irish Refugee Resettlement Programme has resettled 1724 vulnerable persons from 30 different countries to communities across Ireland. Until the end of the year 2017, Ireland pledged to accept 4000 refugees via relocation and resettlement while currently they have resettled 750. Susan McMonagle from the office of the United Nations High Commissionaire for Refugees (UNHCR) Ireland subsequently presented on the protection of refugees in the EU and globally. According to her, although the EU recorded a significant number of refugees in 2015, this number is manageable while she pointed out that 1 million arrivals represents 0.2% of the population of the EU. In order to better prepare for and manage the arriving asylum seekers and protect and integrate refugees, she proposed several UNHCR recommendations for the EU divided into four categories: the EU should be active beyond its borders, prepared to react to high numbers of arriving migrants, have a well-managed common asylum system and prioritise the integration of refugees into the society. According to the UNHCR, the EU’s active approach means support to countries hosting high numbers of refugees and transit countries, provision of development and humanitarian assistance, expanding safe legal pathways for migration i.e. resettlement, effective family reunification mechanisms, private sponsorship or enabling legal migration for students and foreign workers. In relation to the common asylum system she proposed a scheme for making asylum decision in four steps as well as a scheme for distribution of refugees among EU Member States including a separate procedure in case of unaccompanied minors and separated children. The first panel was concluded by Stephen Ryan from the Asylum Unit of the Directorate General for Migration and Home Affairs of the European Commission who spoke on the reform of the common asylum system and enhancing external engagement of the EU. Among reasons for the reform belong inequitable distribution of asylum-seekers/ beneficiaries of international protection, different treatment of asylum-seekers/ beneficiaries of international protection across the EU and widespread secondary movement. EC is preparing a reform of the Dublin Regulation, EURODAC system and a change of the status of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO). The Asylum Qualification Directive is being replaced by a Regulation which sets up a common asylum system of the EU. At the same time, measures to harmonise reception conditions have been adopted. As for the external dimension to the EU asylum policy, he mentioned three main objectives including humanitarian, solidarity and migration management motive while all three are interlinked. In order to achieve its objectives, the EU employs various instruments such as engagement in international initiatives; leveraging EU position in trade, foreign policy, mobility dialogues and enlargement; resettlement; bilateral migration management arrangements, humanitarian aid and so on.

The second panel was devoted to the reactions to the migration situation in the EU Member States. Janne Grote from the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees introduced the German system of resettlement, humanitarian admission and private sponsorship programmes for Syrians. The private sponsorship for Syrian nationals and stateless persons from Syria is not conditioned by UNHCR status, however it is mostly required to have family ties in Germany. Resettlement in Sweden was introduced by Marie Bengtsson from the Swedish Migration Board and Martin Söderström and Mattias Sjölund from Åre Municipality which with its population of 10 500 receives 100 refugees each year. Maria de Fátima Grilo from the Immigration and Border Service presented the reactions of the Portuguese civil society, municipalities and state towards reception and integration of resettled refugees and relocated asylum seekers. Portugal set a Working Group on Migration which consists of various actors including state institutions and NGOs. The newly established High Commissioner for Migration, who is also among its members, collects information on candidates for relocation and UNHCR resettlement list candidates and compares it with available accommodation capacities in Portugal while taking into account also other factors such as proximity of schools, hospitals etc. according to needs of individual refugees.

The topic of the last panel were Irish reactions to the migration crisis. David Costello from the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner and EASO Management Board talked about the role of these two offices. Shane O’Connor from the Irish Refugee Protection Programme presented about its structure, progress and challenges faced. Nick Henderson from the Irish Refugee Council spoke about safe and legal pathways to protection in Ireland and a business man and former Programme Refugee Abbas Ghadimi shared his personal experience with resettlement.

This article was elaborated based on the available conference material and reports. More information about the conference including programme and presentations is available on the Irish EMN NCP website.