24 Oct 2016, 37 mins ago

The legal frameworks and systems that mould European approaches to migration have looked strained under political pressure from member states.

In late June Hungary was rumoured to have suspended ‘Dublin III’ a provision designed to ensure that those claiming Asylum within the EU have their applications processed in the first Member State they enter. The news sparked fierce criticism from its neighbours. Frustrated in part by the same Dublin III system Italy had threatened earlier in the month to issue Schengen visas to migrants who arrived on their shores. Criticism of the Dublin system for placing a disproportionate burden on shore and entry states had led to the EU trying to introduce a quota system where 40,000 asylum seekers who had arrived in Greece and Italy would be processed in other EU states. The plan has faced strong opposition for those set to receive asylum seekers. The UK stated it had no plans to participate.

The Schengen system, which was supposed to allow for passport free travel within Europe has also looked in difficulty. Police have reported to be patrolling international rail traffic, flouting the passport-free travel rules governing Europe’s Schengen area. The newly elected Danish foreign minister announced plans to impose border controls though he maintained that such controls would not violate the Schengen agreement. France’s leading administrative court, the State Council was asked to assess the legality of ‘identity controls’ between France and Italy in the context of the Schengen agreement.

Without reform the tensions within Europe over who should be dealing with irregular migrants from outside the EU is likely to lead to further encroachments on the right to free movement within it