Berlin took the lead in efforts to resolve the European refugee crisis on Monday by declaring all Syrian asylum-seekers welcome to remain in Germany – no matter which EU country they had first entered.Three weeks later, the scene at Europe's borders look like this:
Germany, which expects to take a staggering 800,000 migrants this year, became the first EU country to suspend a 1990 protocol which forces refugees to seek asylum in the first European country in which they set foot.
The German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees ratified an order suspending the so-called Dublin Protocol. “Germany will become the member state responsible for processing their claims,” a government statement said.
All current expulsion orders for Syrian asylum-seekers will be revoked, the government said. New Syrian arrivals will no longer be forced to fill in questionnaires to determine which country they had first arrived in. In the first six months of 2015, Germany registered 44,417 applications from Syrian asylum-seekers.
The decision piles further pressure on other EU countries – including Britain – which have used the 1990 protocol as the legal basis for refusing to take any share of the refugees from the Middle East and Africa now pouring into Europe to escape war, oppression or famine.