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Rwanda's approach to migration issues does not address all the challenges involved.

EU regulations impede deportations.

Fear of deportation to Rwanda: Asylum seekers from the UK camp out in Dublin, Ireland.
Fear of deportation to Rwanda: Asylum seekers from the UK camp out in Dublin, Ireland.

Rwanda's approach to migration issues does not address all the challenges involved.

The UK aims to start sending migrants to Rwanda from July onwards. Nevertheless, renowned migration expert Gerald Knaus predicts that this won't serve as a blueprint for the European Union. He believes the legal obstacles are still too high, largely due to Germany.

Recently, a more stringent EU asylum pact was passed. Despite this, Knaus, the executive director of the European Stability Initiative, warns against expecting a similar deal with African countries such as Rwanda. "This won't solve all the issues." He further explained, "Germany can't send tens of thousands of migrants to Africa. One needs to understand what this agreement is about." According to Knaus, a reasonable number of deportations would be appropriate.

Knaus recently visited Rwanda, where an agreement accepting asylum seekers from the UK was made. He stated, "A deal between the EU and Rwanda would signify an innovative approach: not because a lot of people would be accepted there, but because they won't possibly risk their lives for a hopeless journey."

Knaus stressed that an EU deal with Rwanda based on the Britain's model would be legally questionable, since European law does not allow deporting people to countries they have no connection with. "The fix for the current predicament is a pilot project." He explained, "According to Article 78 of the EU Treaty, the 'connection criterion' could be suspended for a fixed period of time in an emergency situation on a certain route. Considering the 3,000 deaths in the Mediterranean last year, this is justified." Knaus believes it'd be wiser to amend EU legislation instead: "Most states in the EU are already favoring this. It's up to Germany." Knaus conversed with a newspaper about this topic.

15 Member Countries Request More Restrictions

The EU's newly ratified asylum pact stipulates that migrants can be sent directly from Europe's external borders to "safe third countries" to apply for asylum. However, this provision is only valid if the migrant has an existing connection with the third country, for example relatives living there. Hence, mass deportations to Rwanda in East Africa, as planned by the UK, are against the law for the EU now. Furthermore, a definitive list of "safe third countries" has still not been created.

After Brussels' vote, 15 EU states urged for a tighter legal situation. In a written letter to the EU Commission in Brussels, they requested "new solutions" to ease the return of migrants to third countries. Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Greece, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, and Romania expressed their desire to "prevent irregular migration to Europe." Germany wasn't among the signatories.

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The UK's plan to send migrants to Rwanda from July may not inspire a similar EU strategy, as migration expert Gerald Knaus suggests, due to the significant legal hurdles, primarily originating from Germany. Despite the recent EU asylum pact, Knaus advises against expecting similar agreements with countries like Rwanda, stating that it won't solve all the immigration issues.




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