Commission Report on Asylum Procedures Directive

The European Commission issued on 8 September 2010 a periodic Report on the Asylum Procedures Directive (Council Directive 2005/85/EC of 1 December 2005, on minimum standards on procedures in Member States for granting and withdrawing refugee status).  The Report identified numerous “shortcomings in existing common standards” according to the Commission Press Release which accompanied the Report.

One purpose of the report is to “give[] an overview of the transposition and implementation of the Directive in Member States, including possible problematic issues.”  While the report includes a short section (Sect. 5.2.7.) discussing application procedures at Member State borders, it does not address application procedures beyond borders, e.g. in international waters.

The report concludes as follows:  “This evaluation confirms that some of the Directive’s optional provisions and derogation clauses have contributed to the proliferation of divergent arrangements across the EU, and that procedural guarantees vary considerably between Member States. This is notably the case with respect to the provisions on accelerated procedures, ‘safe country of origin’, ‘safe third country’, personal interviews, legal assistance, and access to an effective remedy. Thus, important disparities subsist. A number of cases of incomplete and/or incorrect transposition and flaws in the implementation of the Directive have also been identified. The cumulative effect of these deficiencies may make procedures susceptible to administrative error. It is noteworthy, in this regard, that a significant share of first instance decisions is overturned on appeal.

“The present report shows that the objective of creating a level playing field with respect to fair and efficient asylum procedures has not been fully achieved. The Commission will continue to examine and pursue all cases where problems of transposition and/or implementation have been identified, so as to facilitate the correct and consistent application of the Directive, and to ensure full respect for the principle of non-refoulement and other rights enshrined in the EU Charter. Procedural divergences caused by the often vague and ambiguous standards could only be addressed by legislative amendment. Accordingly, and on the basis of a thorough evaluation of the implementation of the Directive, the Commission adopted on 21 October 2009 a proposal to recast the Directive in order to remedy the deficiencies identified.”

Click here for the Report.

Click here for the Commission Press Release.

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