Germany halts return of Syrian asylum-seekers to first EU port of entry
Germany confirmed Tuesday it has stopped returning Syrian asylum-seekers to their first port of entry in the European Union, effectively waiving a key EU procedure regarding asylum claims.
"#Dublin procedure: We are not following it in practice for Syrian citizens at this time," said the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees on its Twitter account.
The EU welcomed Germany's decision as an "act of European solidarity".
"For the commission, this constitutes a recognition of the fact that we cannot leave the member states at the external borders alone in dealing with a large number of asylum seekers seeking refuge in Europe," said Natasha Bertaud, spokeswoman for the EU Commission.
Under the so-called Dublin rules, the first EU country that an asylum-seeker arrives in is required to process the claimant's application.
In practice, this means that countries like Greece or Italy with are overwhelmed with applications, as thousands arrive by sea on their shores.
© 2015 AFP