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The EU’s Common Asylum Policy

A turning point in the EU migration crisis aimed at fostering effectiveness and individuals' protection

The EU’s Common Asylum Policy

Claudia Astarita

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The European Commission has recently acted in favour of a common asylum policy throughout the European Union (EU). The goal of such a strategy would be the one of assuring effective and humane national measures to migrants, even in emergency situations characterized by significant migration waves such as the ones that have been approaching Europe in the last few months.

Bad experiences have taught the EU member states that they need a common policy to be more successful in achieving their political aims. In particular, the Commission has stressed the need to create a common procedure to enhance the international protection of migrants and to harmonize the EU reception procedures. These new regulation set will also simplify the decisional process concerning asylum, fostering the integration of people entitled for international protection. In particular, decisions will be adopted in maximum six months and complaints cannot be presented after one month from the notification of the decision.

Major protection is given to asylum applicants, who will enjoy free legal assistance. In case of particular circumstances, such as not accompanied children, they will be assigned to a carer who will play the parental role, assisting them when needed. More severe norms will be implemented in order to prevent abuses. Sanctions will be imposed in case of ambiguous acts concerning the asylum procedure, such as arbitrary rejections.

The EU has made it clear that in order to be effective, this new common asylum policy must be implemented uniformly throughout the territory, substituting contrasting national regulations with the new communitarian ones in five years time. This is to assure an equal treatment to migrants within the European Union, regardless of the state they come from and the one in which they arrive.

From the top EU management, Frans Timmermans (Commission Vice-President) and Dimitris Avramopoulos (Commissioner for Migration, Internal Affairs and Citizenship) have both expressed their support for a common European asylum policy, defined as an essential tool to guarantee protection to the individuals, along with an effective management of migration waves.

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