Answering representatives’ questions, Minister of State for EU Affairs Enikő Győri spoke of establishing a common European refugee system in the European Parliament’s plenary session on 19 January. She emphasised that the Hungarian Presidency, in line with its programme, is working to create a more humane European refugee system by 2012.
In its plenary session on 19 January 2011, the European Parliament examined the progress made in the harmonisation of refugee regulations. Acting on behalf of the current Presidency of the Council, Minister of State for EU Affairs, Enikő Győri, also held a speech. Ms Győri confirmed that the Hungarian Presidency’s ultimate goal is to facilitate negotiations over the Commission’s proposals, and other ones to be submitted during the six month period; so that the common European refugee system can be established by 2012. This aspiration of the Presidency is also included in its programme, Ms Győri reminded those present.
The objective to develop the system was set by the EU in its Tampere, Hague and later Stockholm programme, which determined the strategic directions of domestic and judicial co-operation. Essentially, the programme aims to harmonise material and procedural legal regulations related to the re-settlement of people seeking refuge, refugee rights and the evaluation of refugee applications. This will help Member States in deciding who is eligible for what status, and what type of procedure should be applied.
The system also has to consider reasonableness and efficiency. Concluding the debate, the Minister of State pointed out that unconditional respect for human dignity is a fundamental idea of the European Union. “The human factor is a guiding principle for both our programme and all our policies,” she said. Referring to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s speech given on the same day, before the European Parliament, Ms Enikő Győri declared: “As with the Roma issue, Europe has to show that it also has a heart in addition to the necessary reason and coolness in relation to refugees.”
- Together with eligibility for protection and procedural matters, CEAS also importantly covers - or tries to cover - the actual content of protection, the specifications of which do in fact need urgent revision;
- Does the Hungarian Presidency really want Europe to treat refugees with the same heart, reason and coolness it treated the Roma?