Friday, 24 May 2013

Countdown to CEAS

The long awaited approval of the new Common European Asylum System (CEAS) package appears to be in its final stages. The European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) has approved the text of the ‘[t]he last pieces of the puzzle’ – so goes the title of the European Commissioner for Home Affairs blog post (24 April), referring to the new asylum Procedures Directive and the Eurodac Regulation. 

Commissioner Cecília Malmstrom describes the moment as a “milestone for the European cooperation” and as “one of the most important goals” for her, “if not the most important”

(The Regulation establishing the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) had been adopted back in 2010 and is not being amended in this last stage of the new CEAS).

We support and quote the Commissioner's words to justify the need for the strengthening of  CEAS: “the difference between Member States in receiving refugees is unacceptable. A small number of countries are taking a great share of the responsibility, whilst others should be able to do a lot more.” 

Curiously enough, however, other experts in EU migration and asylum law and policy describe the new CEAS in a way that contrasts with the Commissioner’s contentment. 

For example, the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) – see the Editorial of the 26 April ECRE Weekly Bulletin - and to Statewatch – click here to read the analysis by Professor Steve Peers (University of Essex), which we found in the European Area of Freedom Security & Justice Blog

‘Common European Asylum System: the real job still needs to be done’ (by ECRE) and ‘The second phase of the Common European Asylum System: a brave new world – or lipstick on a pig?’ (Statewatch).

We strongly recommend reading, not only for the sake of completeness of information but also to contextualise the presented arguments within the broader assessment of, what's really going on with the Common European Asylum System?

Enjoy the reading! 

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