Did you Know?

As recognised in the 1951 Geneva Convention on the protection of refugees, the EU, through implementing policies and legislations, supports the idea that Asylum is a fundamental right and that granting it is an international obligation.


EDC News: Common European Asylum Policy

Since 1999, the EU has been working towards creating a Common European Asylum System (CEAS) and to improve the current legislative framework for asylum seekers. Initially the CEAS’s objective was to harmonise Member States' legal frameworks on the basis of common minimum standards ensuring fairness, efficiency, and transparency. EU Member States have a shared responsibility to welcome asylum seekers in a dignified manner, ensuring they are treated fairly and that their case is examined to uniform standards so that, no matter where an applicant applies, the outcome will be similar. In addition to harmonising legislation it was necessary to strengthen financial solidarity, which was achieved through the creation of the European Refugee Fund (2008-2013); replaced by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) for the period 2014-20.

Key Directives and Regulations:

  • Asylum procedures - The Asylum procedures Directive (2013/32/EU) establishes common standards of safeguards and guarantees to access a fair and efficient asylum procedure.

  • Temporary protection (2001/55/EC) - is an exceptional measure to provide displaced persons from non-EU countries and unable to return to their country of origin, with immediate and temporary protection.

  • Application Policy – There are two Regulations that aid in establishing the Member State responsible for the examination of the asylum application seeking international protection under the Geneva Convention

    • Dublin Regulation (Regulation (EU) No 604/2013) – the aim of this Regulation is to prevent an applicant from submitting applications in multiple Member States. Also, to reduce the number of "orbiting" asylum seekers, who are shuttled from member state to member state. The country that the asylum seeker first applies for asylum is responsible for either accepting or rejecting asylum, and the seeker may not restart the process in another jurisdiction.

    • EURODAC Regulation (Regulation (EU) No 603/2013) – makes it easier for EU States to determine responsibility for examining an asylum application by comparing fingerprint datasets. New guidelines are proposed to be implemented in 2015 (Commission Staff Working Document SWD(2015) 150 final) with regard to the obligation to take fingerprints.

  • Qualification for international protection – A person needs to be recognised as a refugee or as a beneficiary of subsidiary protection before they can qualify for asylum. The Qualification Directive (2011/95/EU) establishes common grounds to grant international protection.

  • Reception Conditions – the Reception Conditions Directive (2013/33/EU) sets the standard which guarantees asylum seekers, waiting for a decision on their application, a dignified standard of living.

  • Family reunification (2003/86/EC) – gives the ability to bring non-EU family members to reside in the Member State with the refugee. This mainly applies to migrants but can also apply to refugees

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