Common asylum policy in the EU
France and Germany aim to act together in this area, stressed Chancellor Angela Merkel at a joint press conference with French President François Hollande at the Federal Chancellery.
EU states should implement asylum provisions
Although in fact many EU states already have common asylum law, this is not currently being enforced noted Angela Merkel. Germany and France expect all EU states to "realise in full" the existing asylum provisions. They cover the registration of refugees and minimum accommodation and health care standards.
The European Commission is requested to do what it can to ensure that all EU states comply with the agreed asylum policy terms, said Angela Merkel.
Common registration centres
In future there should be a common EU-wide list of safe countries of origin. "We agree that we can standardise the legal consequences arising from this," declared the Chancellor.
Angela Merkel and François Hollande also want to see the EU states together set up registration centres in Greece and Italy, where many refugees first enter the European Union. The EU states should also provide the human resources required. "And this must happen swiftly – before the end of this year. We cannot accept any delay."
A fair distribution of the burden
Common standards must also be developed for repatriating those whose applications for asylum are unsuccessful, she reported. The same applies to the registration centres. The people granted residence rights in the EU must be distributed fairly within the Union. "This fair distribution of the burden is not currently assured, " stressed Angela Merkel.
EU-Africa summit in Malta later in the year
Angela Merkel pointed to the EU-Africa summit to be held later this year in Malta. Germany and France, she said will "work hard to prepare the ground for this meeting". Repatriation agreements with African states will be one point on the agenda.
Primarily, however, the focus is on tackling the root causes of the problem. The heads of state and government will also discuss the situation in refugee camps in countries including Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. "We will work together to ensure that the necessary efforts are made in this context," assured Angela Merkel.