There is such an imminent danger that the Schengen agreement, and the asylum system in Sweden will break down, that Norway must have an emergency legislation in place in case it happens, believes Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg. Therefore, she has crafted a law that will allow for Norwegian authorities to reject asylum seekers who do not come directly from a conflict area.
This means that asylum seekers who want to come to Norway from Russia, but also from the other Nordic countries, will be denied the right to seek asylum, which otherwise is anchored in the UN Refugee Convention.
“It is a force majeure proposal which we will have in the event that it all breaks down, that the flow (of refugees) just comes, and they all end up in Norway, because we are at the top of Europe. Norway is the end point, is not it,” says Erna Solberg in an interview with Berlingske.
The legislation will soon be presented to the Parliament, where it is expected to meet broad support, like the government’s other tightenings of the asylum policies lately.
According to Berlingske, the Norwegian government has been heavily criticized by several commentators. The Bar Association in Norway, says it is a clear violation of Norway’s so-called “international obligations”, since it is contrary to the Geneva Convention to reject Swedes seeking asylum, without examining their asylum applications.
But Solberg defends the policy.
– We must take certain steps to prepare for the worst of scenarios, said the Norwegian Prime Minister to Berlingske.
The Danish government rejects introducing a similar proposal in Denmark, but follows the Norwegian emergency law ‘very carefully’.