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17 June, 2024
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Austria to EU: Deport refugees to Rwanda pending asylum approval

These asylum procedures that the UK and Denmark are following intend to deport refugees to a third country pending approval of their application

Source: Schengen Visa Info

The Austrian Interior Minister, Gerhard Karner, has called for the EU to establish asylum procedures in safe third countries, similar to models that Denmark and the United Kingdom have agreed to operate.

A press release from Austria’s Interior Ministry, the request was made at the extraordinary Justice and Home Affairs Council last week, where ministers discussed the Commission’s new action plan for the countries in the central Mediterranean and applauded the readiness to establish a similar action plan for other routes such as the Western Balkans route, which is dealing with increasing numbers of illegal border crossings, reports.

The asylum procedures that both the United Kingdom and Denmark are following are intended to deport refugees to the African country of Rwanda, where their claims for asylum will be processed, but this plan hasn’t yet been operated.

In September, the European Council of Refugees and Exiles pointed out that in the case of Denmark, “the practical details and legal implications of implementing such outsourcing remain unclear.”

The first deportation flight from the UK to the African country was scheduled to depart in June, but it was canceled due to legal challenges, as the plan is the subject of a court case to decide on its legality. However, so far, nobody has been sent from the UK to Rwanda.

The first time such an idea was presented to the world was in 2004 when Germany proposed for refugees to be sent to countries outside the EU, such as African countries, Turkey, or the Middle East, and such calls date back to at least 20 years ago.

The Austrian Minister also calls for EU funding for police operations, such as deployments of agents from Austria, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic in three countries of Hungary, North Macedonia, and Serbia, which are highly affected by illegal border crossings, with this route of illegal migration, also known as the Balkan route, being quite attacked by such illegalities in the recent months.

Karner’s list also aims for the adoption of a new law to allow prompt deportations, saying that, like Ukrainians have been granted protection under the Temporary Protection Directive, without an individual examination, people from “safe countries of origin” should not be subject to an individual examination of their situation.

The Minister also wants to facilitate the deportation of foreign national offenders, for which he proposed a trial project for rapid asylum procedures at the external EU borders.

The Austrian government has developed an essential role in border externalization in the Balkans, which obligates EU countries to prevent illegal border crossings by people from third countries that are seeking a better future in Europe.

Cyprus  |  Austria  |  Europe  |  migration

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