European Diary, 23.9.2020: The EU Commission makes a new attempt to coordinate the asylum policies of the different member states. In view of the attitude of some states, this already borders on the courage of desperation. The German Broadcast Deutsche Welle reports undaunted: “The fire in the refugee camp Moria and the inhumane conditions on Lesbos give the debate ‘new momentum’ EU officials in Brussels say. The head of the EU Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has announced that the old system, also known as “Dublin rules”, is to be replaced by something new. An obligation for EU states to accept refugees or asylum seekers will probably not be included, because many member states would simply refuse to do so.

Meanwhile, Germany has already relativized its new figure of 1500 a little bit. This figure does not only refer to people from Moria, but also from various other Greek islands. There the same inhuman conditions prevail that led to the explosion on Lesbos anyhow. But at least this new allowance remains an additional admission to those 150 children and teenagers from Moria, as announced earlier. France is also taking in 150 people, Italy 300. The Netherlands on the other hand is cheating. They announced the admission of 100 people from Moria – and reduce their UN contingent by this number. This is a smart way to lie to yourself and the world. Finland is taking in 12 young people. Well then.

But the EU Commission now wants to talk about a new “migration pact”. The old Dublin system is to be overcome, announces EU Commissioner Schinas, reports Deutsche Welle: “In the future the member states could choose whether they want to accept asylum seekers or rather help with the repatriation and deportation of rejected asylum seekers. Commission President von der Leyen follows suit. This system should be obligatory. States like Hungary, Poland (or Austria), which do not participate in the reception of refugees, should then organize their repatriation in the future. And in doing so they should adhere to all international regulations. Something for which these increasingly authoritarian and illiberally governed states are generally well known. But the EU Commission has now apparently switched to sarcasm, too, and calls its new proposal “repatriation sponsorships”, or “patronage”. No, looking at the calendar does not clear this up either. Today is not April 1.

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