In a notable success for the Irish Presidency, the European Parliament has formally adopted all remaining measures before it concerning the Common European Asylum System (CEAS).
The Directive on Reception Conditions, the Dublin Regulation and the Procedures Directive were passed by the European Parliament today after a debate in Strasbourg yesterday which was attended by Minister of State for European Affairs, Lucinda Creighton TD. The final element of the CEAS - the Eurodac Regulation - agreed under the Irish Presidency, will be adopted by Council on 20th June.
Minister Shatter - "The new rules will offer asylum seekers higher and more consistent levels of protection throughout the Union."
Speaking after the vote, the Irish Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Alan Shatter TD, Chair of the Justice and Home Affairs Council, said:
“The Common European Asylum System is another step in the harmonisation of national asylum systems in the European Union during a time of increased asylum applications in the Union. This package of measures highlights the value of the European Union in bringing Member States together to tackle shared concerns. The new rules will offer asylum seekers higher and more consistent levels of protection throughout the Union. Building on the hard work of previous Presidencies, the Irish Presidency is proud to sign-off on the package of measures and achieve what was one of the key objectives of our Presidency Programme.”
The completion of the CEAS has been a key priority for the European Council which called for an updated asylum system when adopting the Stockholm Programme in 2009. The operation of the system will be underpinned by the activities of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) which is now fully operational, and a number of dedicated funding programmes which will support Member States in their efforts to effectively implement the new legislation.
Other elements of the CEAS already adopted include the Qualification Directive which was adopted in December 2011 and the Regulation establishing the European Asylum Support Office which was adopted in May 2010.
Today the European Parliament voted on three legislative measures:
- The Directive on Reception Conditions which lays down standards for the reception of asylum seekers. The Directive will provide better and more harmonised standards of living to applicants for international protection, irrespective of the Member State in which the application has been made
- The Dublin Regulation establishes the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an application for international protection lodged in one of the Member States by a third-country national or a stateless person. The new rules will also introduce a mechanism for early warning preparedness and crisis management
- The recast of the Asylum Procedures Directive. The principal objective of this Directive is to establish common procedures for granting or withdrawing international protection with a view to similar cases being processed similarly and with similar outcomes.
Minister Creighton - "The challenge now is for Member States, with the support of European Asylum Support Office, to work towards the effective implementation of the new legislative framework so as to ensure that the interests of all stakeholders, particularly those persons who have had to flee persecution in their own country, are protected."
The Minister of State for European Affairs, Lucinda Creighton TD, said
“Today we have come to the end of a long road towards putting in place the various measures that were needed to make up this second phase of the Common European Asylum System. The challenge now is for Member States, with the support of European Asylum Support Office, to work towards the effective implementation of the new legislative framework so as to ensure that the interests of all stakeholders, particularly those persons who have had to flee persecution in their own country, are protected.”