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Guterres: EU’s asylum system “extremely dysfunctional”

United Nations high commissioner for refugees António Guterres has criticized the European Union's asylum system describing it as "extremely dysfunctional".

Addressing a debate organized by the European Policy Centre (EPC) think tank on 20th March 2012, Mr. Guterres said that developing countries host 80 per cent of all refugees and not Europe.

He urged Europe to stop dumping responsibility for immigration on others.

Mr. Guterres asked the EU to review its attitudes on migration and asylum and to build a new platform of cooperation with countries of origin, transit and destination, Euractiv.com reported.

He stressed that it was urgent for the EU to deal with its own asylum system. “And there we have a basic problem. The European asylum system is extremely dysfunctional,” he said, adding that “There is no such a thing as an European asylum system."

Mr. Guterres also doubted whether the EU would succeed in reforming its asylum system by the end of 2012.

He reminded Europe that it badly needed immigrants because of its ageing population. "Europe cannot survive without migration. Migration is an absolutely essential component of Europe's capacity to survive," he said.

"We have no choice. Europe will be, inevitably, a multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural society. There is no way to avoid it,” Mr. Guterres said. “And it's better to manage immigration than to pretend we can avoid it."

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