Misunderstanding the Dublin Regulation

Having just watched the BBC News, I was appalled at their sloppy reporting about refugees in Europe.

They repeated the old canard that refugees had a duty, as part of the Dublin Regulation, to claim asylum in the first EU member state they reached. And they repeat it several times in the online version of the story as well, for example they say that the EU:

"... wants to scrap the rule that means they [refugees] must claim asylum in the first country they arrive in and introduce a new dispersal scheme."


"... wants to scrap what is known as the Dublin agreement, which dictates refugees must claim asylum in the "first country of entry".

BBC, 20 January 2016

The Dublin Regulation places no such duty on refugees, nor can it. Instead it places a duty on member states to process the claims of asylum seekers.

The fundamental flaw with the system is that it has never been in the self-interest of member states to process those claims for refugees who, if left to their own devices, would simply pass through their territory in order to claim asylum elsewhere. It is easier to turn a blind eye and leave it to the next member state, or the next, or the next, to deal with them instead.

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