The Irish Presidency has advanced important developments to complete the final two legislative measures on the processing of Asylum Claims forming part of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS).
CEAS is provided for in Article 78 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It provides that the Union shall develop a common policy on asylum, subsidiary protection and temporary protection with a view to offering appropriate status to any third country national requiring international protection in accordance with the principle of non refoulement and the 1951 Geneva Convention on the Status of Refugees.
The Irish presidency programme outlined the objectives to secure agreements in relation to the Student and Researchers Directive, Seasonal Workers Directive and the Intra Corporate Transfers Directive. The President also aims to establish the Asylum and Migration Fund Regulation, an instrumental part of an overall framework for EU financial support in the field of international security, to contribute to the operational costs at national and EU level of border control.
Proposals for compromise texts on the recast of the Asylum Procedures Directive and the Eurodac Regulation have been approved by Member States. The adoption of these measures remains subject to the approval of the European Parliament and the Council.
Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Alan Shatter, Chair of the Justice and Home Affairs Council stated in relation to these developments:
"Completing the Common European Asylum System will be an important milestone towards ensuring the consistent and equitable treatment of asylum seekers irrespective of the Member States in which they present their asylum application. 327,345 asylum applications were received in the EU in 2012, an increase of 7.8% on the previous year. It is vitally important that the Union has a system that ensures that procedures for processing applications are both fair and effective but also robust and not open to abuse. I am pleased that the Irish Presidency has been able to advance discussions with the Parliament and we are now hopeful of reaching an early agreement on this basis."
However, whilst it is evident these developments mark an important progression in the area of migrant reform, it must be noted that Ireland has ‘opted out’ of participating in the revised laws which form part of the CEAS, and not signed up to others including the Reception Conditions Directive. Only Ireland and Denmark failed to sign up to the latter, however unlike Ireland, Denmark has provided the right to work in separate legislation. Consequently Ireland will not benefit fully from this important milestone towards ensuring the consistent and equitable treatment of asylum seekers, placing Irish Immigration laws out of line more now than ever with that of other European countries.
For information on this item and further developments of the Irish Presidency see: http://eu2013.ie/news/news-items/20130327ceaspr/