MEPs approve directive on reception conditions  


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  • Work at the latest six months after requesting asylum, instead of currently nine months 
  • Access to language and civic education courses and vocational training to enhance integration opportunities 
  • Place of residence may be established by authorities to avoid people absconding, but detention only possible in specific cases 
  • All unaccompanied minors to have a guardian and all asylum-seeker children to be schooled 

Registered asylum-applicants will be able to start working sooner and their integration prospects will improve, under a draft law agreed by Parliament and Council.

The main aim of the revised Reception Conditions Directive is to ensure equivalent reception standards across EU member states when it comes to material conditions -including housing-, health care and an adequate standard of living for applicants. The new rules should prevent applicants from moving around the EU after their registration.

Improving integration opportunities

To improve their chances of being able to live independently and be able to integrate locally, asylum applicants should be allowed to work not later than six months from the date of the registration of their application, instead of the current nine months. To help enhance applicants' integration prospects they will get access to language courses, civic education courses or vocational training courses.

Protecting minors

Member states must ensure every unaccompanied minor is assigned a guardian as soon as possible and no later than 15 days after their lodging an application for international protection. Moreover, children should enter into the school system at the latest two months after arrival.


Member States may decide that an applicant has to reside in a specific place for reasons of public order or to effectively prevent the applicant from absconding, if such risks exist. Detention may be based only on specific grounds established in national law.


Sophie in 't Veld MEP (Renew, Netherlands), rapporteur, said: “Today's vote on the asylum and migration pact is probably one of the most difficult of this mandate. It contains elements which are prone to abuse by Member State governments and which can lead to human rights violations, depending on Member State implementation. I think especially of the border procedure, which may lead to wide-spread detention, and of the many back doors to evade EU standards under the Crisis Regulation. At the same time, we negotiated notable improvements, such as in the Reception Conditions Directive. This includes improvement for children's rights, such as ensuring that unaccompanied children have a representative from day one and that the detention of children becomes the absolute exception.”

Next steps

The adopted text agreed text needs to formally approved by the Council before it can be published in the Official Journal of the EU and enter into force. Member states have two years to transpose the provisions of the directive in their national laws.

The legislation is part of the wider revamp of the EU’s common asylum and migration rules, on which Parliament voted today. You can find more information here.