Humanitarian Visas Can Be Highly Effective

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Humanitarian visas can be highly effective and useful tools to ensure access to asylum for select groups of asylum-seekers with a need for international protection. In the context of the current refugee protection crisis, humanitarian visas could complement and alleviate the pressure on ordinary asylum procedures on the territory of Member States in the EU.

A system of humanitarian visas may be implemented on the basis of existing EU law and could be managed without the establishment of any new institutions. The assessment of such visas may further be directly integrated into the existing domestic asylum systems. As such, it would be possible for a smaller group of Member States to proceed through en-hanced cooperation in order to test the benefits from such collaboration in a smaller group.

That is what Gregor Noll, Professor of International Law at the Faculty of Law at Lund University and Board Member of the Board of Trustees of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute, and Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen, Research Director at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute, argue in a newly released policy brief.

“In the context of the current refugee protection crisis,” the text states, “humanitarian visas could complement and alleviate the pressure on ordinary asylum procedures on the territory of Member States in the EU.”

The authors argue that a system of humanitarian visas may be implemented on the basis of existing EU law and could be managed without the establishment of any new institutions. They write that the assessment of such visas may further be directly integrated into the existing domestic asylum systems.

As such, they say, it would be possible for a smaller group of Member States to proceed through enhanced cooperation in order to test the benefits from such collaboration in a smaller group.