For Dagens Nyheter, the European Parliament’s adoption of a new system of rules for asylum rights is a “historic” step forward. The bill voted on June 12, which will pave the way for a common procedures and a standard timeframe for the processing of asylum applications, is the fruit of ten years of negotiations, points out the Swedish daily.

The new system, expected to come into force in the second half of 2015, aims to improve conditions for asylum seekers, minors in particular, and to compensate for imbalances between member states: in 2012, some 330,000 applications were registered in the EU, but less than 1 per cent were accepted in Greece as opposed to 14 per cent in France and 15 per cent in Germany, reports the newspaper. The daily continues:

… whereas southern countries welcome the bulk of refugees, only a dozen people obtained asylum in countries like Latvia, Estonia and Slovenia.

According to the terms of the new bill, applications will have to be registered in three to six days. The time required to examine applications will be limited to six months, and only under exceptional circumstances may it be extended to 21 months. While largely aligned with the Dublin II regulation on asylum, the text also stipulates asylum seekers cannot be transferred to the first country where they entered the EU if they risk being subjected to inhumane or degrading treatement.