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The Common European Asylum - Essay Example

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Asylum as defined in encyclopedia "is the protection granted by a state to a foreign citizen against his own state". This protection is based on certain refugee rights which are acknowledged internationally. It is granted to a person who cannot seek protection in his/her country of origin for fear of being persecuted for various reasons like race, religion, nationality, etc…
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The Common European Asylum
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Download file to see previous pages The European Union as established in the Treaty of Maastricht is an area which ensures freedom of movement. The treaty of Amsterdam (1997)further reformed the Maastricht treaty and all dealings related to free movement of persons; controls on external borders; asylum, immigration and judicial cooperation in civil matters were brought under the legal framework. The Schengen (Agreement 1985) signed by three countries Benelux, France and Germany was also included in this treaty which eliminated all border controls and guaranteed the free movement of citizens from participating countries.
At the European Council summit in Tampere in 1999, the member states aimed for the establishment of a common EU policy on issues of immigration and asylum. Among one of its elements that it sought to achieve was the development of a common European asylum system. Point 14 of the Tampere European Council states the requirements of such a common system.
This System should include, in the short term, a clear and workable determination of the State responsible for the examination of an asylum application, common standards for a fair and efficient asylum procedure, common minimum conditions of reception of asylum seekers, and the approximation of rules on the recognition and content of the refugee status. It should also be completed with measures on subsidiary forms of protection offering an appropriate status to any person in need of such protection. (tampere european council 15 and 16 october 1999 presidency conclusions)

This was also the first stage of establishing the common European asylum system wherein four directives were laid down in order to harmonize various aspects of asylum policies. The deadline for adoption of the first legally binding instruments was set for five years after entry into force of the Treaty of Amsterdam, a period which expired at the end of April 2004.
1. reception directive; regarding reception of asylum seekers
2. Dublin II regulation; regarding the country responsible for examination of asylum claim
3. qualification directive; regarding the definition and content of refugee and subsidiary protection status
4. Procedures directive; regarding procedures used to consider asylum claims.
The first directive laid down in the tampere council was the reception directive. It came into force on 1st September 2003. It states the minimum standards on the reception of asylum seekers. Its objective was to provide the asylum seekers with a dignified standard of living. The reception directive defines the material conditions for the refugees once they land on the EU territory. Their accommodation, food, clothing and financial assistance is all given due care. Family reunion is also given consideration along with medical and psychological care. Finally the integration of the minor children into the education system is also prioritized. The doors of the labor market are also opened to the asylum seekers. All these material reception conditions are provided to ensure a decent standard of living for the applicants as well as their families. At the same time extra care is also to be granted to the most vulnerable applicants who have faced some forms of violence or who are disabled or minor children and pregnant women. At the same ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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