Question for oral answer to the Commission Rule 115 Nadja Hirsch, Renate Weber, Cecilia Wikström, Louis Michel, Sonia Alfano, Stanimir Ilchev, Nathalie Griesbeck, Jan Mulder, on behalf of the ALDE Group
Subject: Transmission of information on the cost of examining asylum seekers' applications in the Member States
The Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the application of Council Directive 2005/85/EC of 1 December 2005 on minimum standards on procedures in Member States for granting and withdrawing refugee status was presented on 8 September 2010.
The report made it clear that the 2005 directive needs to be recast.
There is a great disparity between Member States’ procedures, leading to widely differing results in terms of the quality of the asylum seekers’ reception.
Furthermore, the report states that frontloading – improving the quality of first instance decisions – could lead to significant savings. Investing in first instance, as proposed in the recast, would make it possible to identify at an earlier stage asylum seekers who can claim international protection and those who cannot. Member States would then see a significant fall in the costs of assistance provided under the current directive. The beneficiaries of international protection could also be integrated more rapidly into the host country and contribute to its economy.
The Commission acknowledged during a technical meeting on 29 September 2010 that it did not have firm information from Member States on the financial costs (interpreters, legal aid, etc.) involved in the implementation of the 2005 directive.
However, information on these costs is crucial for a reliable and accurate assessment of the savings that could be achieved in the long term through the recast.
Can the Commission commit itself to providing a comparative study of these costs?