Work and social welfare for asylum-seekers and refugees: Selected EU Member States

03-12-2015

Differences in reception standards for asylum-seekers and in treatment of beneficiaries of international protection are said to lead to intra-EU movements, placing a considerable burden on Member States with higher reception standards. EU legislation seeks to ensure that reception standards are comparable throughout the EU, to guarantee asylum-seekers' and refugees' fundamental rights and to prevent 'asylum shopping'. However the value of material benefits to be provided remains a Member State competence. Analysis of the rules and practices of eight EU Member States as regards access to employment and social welfare for asylum-seekers and refugees does show differences in standards. However, as a general rule, the differences in the level of benefits provided to asylum-seekers correspond to the differences in living standards among Member States. There are a number of practical hurdles to the effectiveness of the right to work for asylum-seekers and refugees common to all Member States. Making labour markets accessible to asylum-seekers, and evaluating the ongoing trend to shorten periods before their full admission, are considered important elements in improving integration into host Member States.

Differences in reception standards for asylum-seekers and in treatment of beneficiaries of international protection are said to lead to intra-EU movements, placing a considerable burden on Member States with higher reception standards. EU legislation seeks to ensure that reception standards are comparable throughout the EU, to guarantee asylum-seekers' and refugees' fundamental rights and to prevent 'asylum shopping'. However the value of material benefits to be provided remains a Member State competence. Analysis of the rules and practices of eight EU Member States as regards access to employment and social welfare for asylum-seekers and refugees does show differences in standards. However, as a general rule, the differences in the level of benefits provided to asylum-seekers correspond to the differences in living standards among Member States. There are a number of practical hurdles to the effectiveness of the right to work for asylum-seekers and refugees common to all Member States. Making labour markets accessible to asylum-seekers, and evaluating the ongoing trend to shorten periods before their full admission, are considered important elements in improving integration into host Member States.