NGO Asylum Good Practice Recommendations to Spain, Belgium, and Hungary

CEAR (Spanish Refugee Council), the Flemish Refugee Action (Vluchtelingenwerk Vlaanderen), CIRE (Coordination et Initiatives pour Réfugiés et Etrangers),and the Hungarian Helsinki Committee (Magyar Helsinki Bizottság) have made a series of good practice recommendations to Spain, Belgium and Hungary.  These three countries are “the new Trio of States that will hold the Presidency of the European Union from January 2010 until June 2011, a crucial moment for the development of the EU policy and legislation in the field of asylum … The Trio will therefore play a key role in [the] implementation [of the Stockholm Programme] … The aim of [the recommendations is ] to complement ECRE’s positions and identify, from a more national perspective, those issues where the often diverse experiences of Spain, Belgium and Hungary can be employed to effectively address some of the main shortcomings of asy­lum systems in Europe.”

“As a general recommendation we urge the Trio of States to join their efforts in ensuring that the second phase of the Common European Asylum System will translate the best practices and highest protec­tion standards of the Member States’ national laws into EU legislation. The harmonisation on minimum standards, too often resulted in the lowest common denominators, should not be repeated.”

“[I]t must also be noted that in recent years a worrisome tendency has developed towards the exter­nalisation of responsibility for asylum claims outside the EU to neighbouring third countries. In this respect we recommend the Trio of States to support cooperation with third countries aimed at reinforcing their protection system. At the same time we urge the Trio of States to take a strong and clear position to make sure such cooperation does not become a way for the EU to escape its responsibility to protect under international and EU law.”

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Filed under Belgium, European Union, Hungary, Spain, Statements

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