In a letter to the European Commission revealed Thursday, ministers of France, Germany, Italy and Spain proposed that a “binding mechanism” be added to the upcoming New Pact on Asylum and Migration to distribute asylum seekers.
The proposal is an attempt to keep asylum reform on the agenda during the COVID-19 pandemic. The proposal states that countries unwilling to accept migrants amid the pandemic may offer “other measures of solidarity.” However, this should be the exception.
The ministers also advocate for a “Search and Rescue Solidarity Mechanism” for migrants rescued at sea to ensure countries on EU’s external borders are not overwhelmed with asylum applications.
The proposal also stresses that mandatory security, health and identity pre-screening of all asylum seekers “is an essential part of the procedures.”