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The number of people in the world that are forcibly displaced inside or outside their home country has risen significantly in recent years, as also showcased by the unprecedented arrival of refugees and irregular migrants in the EU since 2015. This highlights an urgent need to ensure organised, legal and safe pathways for protecting migrants who embark on dangerous journeys in an attempt to enter countries of destination irregularly, or find themselves in protracted refugee situations. A potential ...

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 ...

This study was commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the FEMM Committee. The study focuses on the trauma that refugee and asylum-seeking women suffer when reaching their host country. Drawing on an extensive survey of scientific literature, international organisations’ reports, websites, press, and discussions with relevant experts, it highlights survivors' different needs and the structural, cultural and psychological ...

Common procedure for asylum

Briefing 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 ...

Fast-tracking procedures at European Union external borders for determining whether individuals are entitled to international protection is a priority in the proposed Pact on Migration and Asylum. This European Implementation Assessment concludes that current Member State practice does not result in uniform and effective reviews of applications for international protection on the basis of a fair process. In particular, certain Member States apply time-lines within which no serious consideration of ...

Reform of the Dublin system

Briefing 30-09-2020

The refugee and migrant crisis in Europe has exposed the need for reform of the Common European Asylum System, in general, and of the Dublin rules, in particular. The Commission’s proposal of 4 May 2016 to reform the Dublin system would not change the existing criteria for determining which Member State is responsible for examining an asylum application. Instead of a fundamental overhaul of the Dublin regime, as suggested by Parliament, the Commission proposed to streamline and supplement the current ...

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 ...

In early September 2020, a fire in the over-crowded migrant camp of Moria in Greece pushed thousands of people onto the streets, exacerbating the already dire conditions faced by asylum-seekers and migrants. The incident also shows the need to find a solution to a crisis of solidarity in EU asylum policy that has remained unresolved since the unprecedented influx of migrants into the EU in 2015. The European Commission presented a new Pact on Asylum and Migration on 23 September 2020. In that, it ...

Solidarity in EU asylum policy

Briefing 23-03-2020

The unprecedented arrival of refugees and irregular migrants in the EU in 2015 exposed a number of deficiencies in EU external border, asylum and migration policy, sparking EU action through various legal and policy instruments. While the EU has been relatively successful in securing external borders, curbing irregular migrant arrivals and increasing cooperation with third countries, Member States are still reluctant to show solidarity and do more to share responsibility for asylum-seekers. International ...

Approximately 3.6 million refugees have entered Turkey since the beginning of the civil war in Syria in 2011, the highest number in the region. Despite on-going international and European Union financial and humanitarian support, this ever-increasing refugee presence has resulted in heightened social tensions in Turkey. In the 2019 local elections, the loss of the Istanbul mayoralty by the governing Justice and Development (AK) party was perceived as a major setback for the 'imperial presidency' ...