31

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Labour market integration of asylum seekers and refugees

03-06-2021

Migration to the European Union from third countries has been substantial over the past few decades, as Europe has historically been considered a continent of relative economic prosperity and political stability. While many foreign-born individuals arrive in the European Union (EU) to work, pursue studies or join family members, the EU also experienced a peak of irregular arrivals beginning in 2014 and only starting to subside in 2016. Those large migratory flows included a substantial number of ...

Migration to the European Union from third countries has been substantial over the past few decades, as Europe has historically been considered a continent of relative economic prosperity and political stability. While many foreign-born individuals arrive in the European Union (EU) to work, pursue studies or join family members, the EU also experienced a peak of irregular arrivals beginning in 2014 and only starting to subside in 2016. Those large migratory flows included a substantial number of asylum-seekers and refugees fleeing war and instability in their home countries. As host societies, EU Member States are required to facilitate their integration, i.e. their acceptance in society and ability to access different services and the labour market. EU law envisages access to employment for refugees as soon as they are granted refugee status, or for asylum-seekers at the latest within nine months of lodging an asylum application. However, employment rates for migrants in general, and refugees and asylum-seekers in particular, are persistently lower than those of native-born populations. Moreover, they are more likely to be employed in low-skilled occupations that have high automation potential in the future. If this potential is exploited through the use of artificial intelligence and digitalisation, the European economy is expected to see a decline in low-skilled employment. To ensure that migrants' skills will match the future EU labour market, focus should be turned to facilitating the proper recognition of their qualifications, as well as to upgrading their education and skills. The EU supports Member States' integration efforts through its EU action plan on integration and inclusion.

Recast Eurodac Regulation

26-03-2021

Eurodac is a biometric database in which Member States are required to enter the fingerprint data of asylum-seekers in order to identify where they entered the European Union (EU). Established in 2000 and reviewed in 2013, its main purpose is to facilitate the application of the Dublin Regulation. The 2013 revision broadened the scope to provide law enforcement authorities with access to the Eurodac database. As part of the reform of the common European asylum system in 2016, the European Commission ...

Eurodac is a biometric database in which Member States are required to enter the fingerprint data of asylum-seekers in order to identify where they entered the European Union (EU). Established in 2000 and reviewed in 2013, its main purpose is to facilitate the application of the Dublin Regulation. The 2013 revision broadened the scope to provide law enforcement authorities with access to the Eurodac database. As part of the reform of the common European asylum system in 2016, the European Commission proposed a recast Eurodac Regulation. The co-legislators reached a partial agreement on the proposal in 2018. As part of the broader migration and asylum pact, the new Commission presented an amended proposal on 23 September 2020. The Commission expects the co-legislators to promptly adopt the proposal on the basis of the agreement already reached. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Common procedure for asylum

08-03-2021

As part of the common European asylum system (CEAS), the Asylum Procedures Directive sets out procedures for Member States for granting and withdrawing international protection in accordance with the Qualification Directive. Following the large influx of asylum-seekers to the European Union after 2014, the directive came under criticism for being too complex and for leaving Member States too broad discretion, leading to differences in treatment and outcomes. On 13 July 2016, as part of the reform ...

As part of the common European asylum system (CEAS), the Asylum Procedures Directive sets out procedures for Member States for granting and withdrawing international protection in accordance with the Qualification Directive. Following the large influx of asylum-seekers to the European Union after 2014, the directive came under criticism for being too complex and for leaving Member States too broad discretion, leading to differences in treatment and outcomes. On 13 July 2016, as part of the reform of the CEAS, the Commission published a proposal to replace the current directive with a regulation establishing a common procedure for international protection applicable in all participating Member States. The choice of a directly applicable regulation is expected to bring about harmonisation of the procedures, ensuring same steps, timeframes and safeguards across the EU. The 2016 proposal having reached deadlock, the Commission proposed an amended regulation on 23 September 2020 under its new pact on asylum and migration, suggesting targeted amendments to help overcome certain contentious issues relating in particular to the border procedure and return. The amended proposal is currently being examined by the co-legislators with a view to fixing their positions in order to resume trilogue negotiations shortly. Fourth edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Hotspots at EU external borders: State of play

25-09-2020

The 'hotspot approach' was presented by the European Commission as part of the European Agenda on Migration in April 2015, when record numbers of refugees, asylum-seekers and other migrants flocked to the EU. The 'hotspots' – first reception facilities – aim to improve coordination of the EU agencies' and national authorities' efforts at the external borders of the EU, in the initial reception, identification, registration and fingerprinting of asylum-seekers and migrants. Even though other Member ...

The 'hotspot approach' was presented by the European Commission as part of the European Agenda on Migration in April 2015, when record numbers of refugees, asylum-seekers and other migrants flocked to the EU. The 'hotspots' – first reception facilities – aim to improve coordination of the EU agencies' and national authorities' efforts at the external borders of the EU, in the initial reception, identification, registration and fingerprinting of asylum-seekers and migrants. Even though other Member States also have the possibility to benefit from the hotspot approach, only Greece and Italy host hotspots. In Greece, the hotspot approach remains the key strategy in addressing migratory pressures. The EU-Turkey Statement of March 2016, closely linked to the implementation of the hotspot approach in Greece, led to a considerable drop in irregular migration flows from Turkey to the EU. However, returns of irregular migrants to Turkey – a cornerstone of the agreement – are low. The deteriorating relationship between Turkey and the EU is putting the agreement under increasing pressure. The hotspot approach was also set up to contribute to the temporary emergency relocation mechanisms that – between September 2015 and September 2017 – helped to transfer asylum-seekers from Greece and Italy to other EU Member States. Even though 96 % of the people eligible had been relocated by the end of March 2018, relocation numbers were far from the targets originally set and the system led to tensions with Czechia, Hungary and Poland, which refused to comply with the mechanism. Since their inception, the majority of the hotspots have suffered from overcrowding, and concerns have been raised by stakeholders with regard to camp facilities and living conditions – in particular for vulnerable migrants and asylum-seekers – and to gaps in access to asylum procedures. These shortcomings cause tensions among the migrants and with local populations and have already led to violent protests. On 8 September 2020, a devastating fire in the Moria camp, on Lesvos, only aggravated the existing problems. The European Parliament has called repeatedly for action to ensure that the hotspot approach does not endanger the fundamental rights of asylum-seekers and migrants. This briefing updates two earlier ones published in March 2016 and in June 2018.

Hearings of the Commissioners-designate: Margaritis Schinas – Vice-President: Promoting the European way of life

26-09-2019

This briefing is one in a set looking at the Commissioners-designate and their portfolios as put forward by Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen. Each candidate faces a three-hour public hearing, organised by one or more parliamentary committees. After that process, those committees will judge the candidates' suitability for the role based on 'their general competence, European commitment and personal independence', as well as their 'knowledge of their prospective portfolio and their communication ...

This briefing is one in a set looking at the Commissioners-designate and their portfolios as put forward by Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen. Each candidate faces a three-hour public hearing, organised by one or more parliamentary committees. After that process, those committees will judge the candidates' suitability for the role based on 'their general competence, European commitment and personal independence', as well as their 'knowledge of their prospective portfolio and their communication skills'. At the end of the hearings process, Parliament votes on the proposed Commission as a bloc, and under the Treaties may only reject the entire College of Commissioners, rather than individual candidates. The Briefing provides an overview of key issues in the portfolio areas, as well as Parliament's activity in the last term in that field. It also includes a brief introduction to the candidate.

Hearings of the Commissioners-designate: Ylva Johansson - Home Affairs

26-09-2019

This briefing is one in a set looking at the Commissioners-designate and their portfolios as put forward by Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen. Each candidate faces a three-hour public hearing, organised by one or more parliamentary committees. After that process, those committees will judge the candidates' suitability for the role based on 'their general competence, European commitment and personal independence', as well as their 'knowledge of their prospective portfolio and their communication ...

This briefing is one in a set looking at the Commissioners-designate and their portfolios as put forward by Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen. Each candidate faces a three-hour public hearing, organised by one or more parliamentary committees. After that process, those committees will judge the candidates' suitability for the role based on 'their general competence, European commitment and personal independence', as well as their 'knowledge of their prospective portfolio and their communication skills'. At the end of the hearings process, Parliament votes on the proposed Commission as a bloc, and under the Treaties may only reject the entire College of Commissioners, rather than individual candidates. The Briefing provides an overview of key issues in the portfolio areas, as well as Parliament's activity in the last term in that field. It also includes a brief introduction to the candidate.

External author

Théron, François

Smart Borders: EU Entry/Exit System

12-01-2018

In anticipation of increased traveller flows and in response to security concerns regarding the control of EU external borders, on 6 April 2016, the Commission presented revised proposals for establishing an Entry/Exit System for recording the border-crossings of all non-EU nationals. These build on the Smart Borders package presented in 2013, which did not secure consensus among the co-legislators and was the subject of additional technical and operational studies completed in 2015. The current ...

In anticipation of increased traveller flows and in response to security concerns regarding the control of EU external borders, on 6 April 2016, the Commission presented revised proposals for establishing an Entry/Exit System for recording the border-crossings of all non-EU nationals. These build on the Smart Borders package presented in 2013, which did not secure consensus among the co-legislators and was the subject of additional technical and operational studies completed in 2015. The current system of manual stamping of passports would be replaced by automation of certain preparatory border control procedures. The system would be interconnected with the Visa Information System (VIS) database and used by the same authorities: border control and consular posts. Moreover, it would allow law enforcement authorities to perform restricted queries in the database for criminal identification and intelligence to prevent serious crime and terrorism. The two regulations were signed on 30 November 2017, and the Entry/Exit System is due to become fully functional by 2020 at the latest.

International Migrants Day – 18 December

15-12-2017

Each year, 18 December is observed as International Migrants Day. Nominated by the United Nations General Assembly on 4 December 2000 in response to increasing migration in the world, the day aims to draw attention to the human rights of migrants, and highlight their contribution to our societies.

Each year, 18 December is observed as International Migrants Day. Nominated by the United Nations General Assembly on 4 December 2000 in response to increasing migration in the world, the day aims to draw attention to the human rights of migrants, and highlight their contribution to our societies.

Smart borders: EU Entry/Exit System

23-10-2017

The Commission has envisaged integrated border management for several years, in response to increased traveller flows and the new security context. The Entry/Exit System proposed aims to set up a database where entry and exit information of third-country travellers is recorded. Following a political agreement with the Council, the Parliament is expected to vote on the texts in October.

The Commission has envisaged integrated border management for several years, in response to increased traveller flows and the new security context. The Entry/Exit System proposed aims to set up a database where entry and exit information of third-country travellers is recorded. Following a political agreement with the Council, the Parliament is expected to vote on the texts in October.

World Refugee Day: Focus on migrant children

19-06-2017

In December 2000, in a resolution to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, the UN General Assembly designated 20 June as World Refugee Day. UN estimates place the global number of forcibly displaced persons at 65.3 million. Nearly 21.3 million of these persons are refugees, over half of them under the age of 18.

In December 2000, in a resolution to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, the UN General Assembly designated 20 June as World Refugee Day. UN estimates place the global number of forcibly displaced persons at 65.3 million. Nearly 21.3 million of these persons are refugees, over half of them under the age of 18.

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