The EU, Immigration and Asylum Seekers

The EU, Immigration and Asylum Seekers - More information

Common Asylum Policy

The major aims and principles were agreed in October 1999 by heads of state at the European Council in Tampere, Finland.

The Geneva Convention is central to this policy, specifically:

  • Refoulement: Convention IV Article 45. Civilians in an occupied territory must not be transferred to a country where they have reason to fear persecution based on their political or religious beliefs.
  • Refugees: Refugees and stateless persons are protected by the Fourth Geneva Convention to the same extent as civilians in occupied territories. Protocol 1. Article 73S

Policies and Agencies in place
For full information go to the European Union site on Freedom, Security and Justice.

Dublin Regulation 343/2003/EC
This regulation establishes a series of criteria for determining which Member State has responsibility for examining an asylum application, namely the state which played the most important part in the applicant’s entry or residence in the EU.

EURODAC - In operation since 15th January 2003.

  • All Member States except Denmark currently take part, plus Norway and Iceland.
  • Helps prevent fraudulent applicants from shopping around, or clogging up the system with multiple applications.

FRONTEX – European Agency for the Management of External Borders of the Member States of the EU Regulation No 2007/2004

  • Based in Warsaw, Poland. Fully operational since October 3rd 2005.
  • Specialised independent body tasked to coordinate operational cooperation between member states in the field of border security, complementing the national border management systems.
  • Promotes a model of integrated border security.

RABITs Rapid Border Intervention Teams

Member States contribute to a pool of border guards to be deployed for a limited period in situations of urgent and exceptional pressure.

EU Blue Card, Directive 17426/08 and 9057/09 - adopted 29th May 2009

A fast track procedure for issuing special residence and work permits to highly qualified third country workers. Will also ultimately facilitate movement across the EU

European Asylum Support Office

The Commission’s 2008 asylum action plan intends to make ambitious changes to existing EU asylum law. The aim is to encourage closer administrative cooperation between EU countries, to harmonise different national practices, improve the way asylum requests are dealt with and treat asylum seekers more fairly.

The European Asylum Support Office opened in May 2010 at Valletta, Malta