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Asylum, immigration, free movement of people

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Asylum

Pursuant to Article 78 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union "The Union shall develop a common policy on asylum, subsidiary protection and temporary protection with a view to offering appropriate status to any third-country national requiring international protection and ensuring compliance with the principle of non-refoulement. This policy must be in accordance with the Geneva Convention of 28 July 1951 and the Protocol of 31 January 1967 relating to the status of refugees, and other relevant treaties."

To achieve these objectives, the European Union has adopted regulations and directives in the following areas:

Reception of Asylum Seekers (Reception Conditions Directive)

  • Determination of the Member State responsible for examining an asylum application (Dublin Regulation) accompanied by the Eurodac system (Eurodac Reguation)
  • Definition of refugee status and beneficiaries of subsidiary protection (Qualification Directive)
  • Procedures for granting and withdrawing refugee status and subsidiary protection (Procedures Directive)
  • Temporary protection in the event of a mass influx (Temporary Protection Directive)
  • European Asylum Support Office (EASO)

These texts are the various elements of the "Common European Asylum System" which should lead, as announced in 1999 during the EU summit in Tampere, "to a common asylum procedure and a uniform status for those who are granted asylum valid throughout the Union".

Warning: application of rules in time

EU Asylum policy was developed in two distinct stages. This has a significant impact on the application of the texts.

A first series of texts were adopted between 2003 and 2005 and have since entered into force.

However, all these texts - with the exception of texts relating to temporary protection and European Asylum Support Office - have been subject to a "recast" between 2011 to 2013. This means that significant changes have been introduced through new legislation.

Although these "recasts" have been recently adopted, they are not yet applicable:

  • The new Dublin Regulation (Dublin III) will apply to asylum applications lodged from 1 January 2014
  • The new Eurodac Regulation will apply from 20 July 2015
  • The recast of the Qualification Directive will apply from 22 December 2013
  • The recast of the Reception Conditions Directive and the recast of the Asylum Procedures Directive will apply from July 2015 for some provisions and July 2018 for others.

Accordingly, the word "recast" in the title of directives and/or regulations means that these new texts will apply according to this calendar.

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