Allianz Knowledge: Recently, there has been talk of fast-tracking well-educated asylum seekers, at least, to mitigate the pressure of migration. Could you explain this idea?
Klaus Bade: It would possibly operate using a kind of points system: migrants would have to apply from abroad, which they could do online. Decisions would be made on the basis of transparent criteria such as qualifications, work experience and language skills. It could stop many from choosing the illegal and dangerous route to Europe, and lying their way through their applications for asylum.
Refusing to take illegal immigrants would be more legitimate if there were defined legal migration paths. Fuzzy distinctions between economic migrants and asylum seekers would only be acceptable in exceptional cases, otherwise the asylum procedure would become a migration gateway and even more qualified people would try and cross the sea. As well as opening legal migration paths, it would then be even more important to examine the reasons why an individual is seeking asylum.
How can the reasons for fleeing a country be tackled effectively?
Migration pressure can only be relieved in refugees' countries of origin themselves. But many African states are not just witness to civil war and terror attacks forcing citizens to flee: they often play host to an unholy alliance between non-African business interests and corrupt African leaders.