Guaranteeing the right to asylum
Everyone fleeing persecution or serious harm in their own country has the right to ask for international protection. Asylum is a fundamental right and granting it to people who comply with the criteria set in the 1951 Geneva Convention relating to the status of refugees. is an international obligation for States parties, which include EU Member States. The EU integrated the conditions for qualification for international protection in its own legal corpus, and broadened the concept by creating a category of beneficiaries of international protection additional to refugees, i.e. beneficiaries of subsidiary protection.
The right to asylum is guaranteed by Article 18 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights . Article 19 prohibits collective expulsions and protects individuals from being removed, expelled or extradited to a state where there is a serious risk of death penalty, torture or other inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
The EU’s Member States have agreed to a common European asylum policy , including subsidiary and temporary protection.
The procedures to grant asylum must be both fair and effective throughout the Union. This is the basis of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS).
The CEAS consists of several pieces of legislation covering all aspects of the asylum process:
- the “Dublin Regulation”, which determines which Member State is responsible for examining an asylum application.
- a directive on asylum procedures that establishes common standards for fair and efficient asylum procedures;
- a directive on reception conditions that establishes minimum common standards for asylum applicants’ living conditions and that ensures that applicants have access to housing, food, employment and health care;
- a directive on qualification that establishes who qualifies as a refugee or a beneficiary of subsidiary protection and that provides a series of rights for beneficiaries (residence permits, travel documents, access to employment and education, social welfare and healthcare).