Public hearing on asylum, with the participation of Franco Frattini and Brenda King, President of the Section for Employment, Social Affairs and Citizenship of the EESC
End production: 07/11/2007 First transmission: 07/11/2007
The European Commission organized a public hearing in order to prepare a new package of proposals to move forward on the construction of a Common European Asylum System. This phase envisages further approximation of national asylum procedures, legal standards and reception conditions. The goal is also to promote EU solidarity, ensure higher standards of protection and reduce the phenomenon of "asylum shopping" where applicants move around the EU trying to benefit from the diversity in Member States' applicable rules. Before presenting its new proposals in mid-2008, the EC invited stakeholders to express their views and to present suggestions.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior view of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)
||General view of the room where the hearing on the future of the Common European Asylum System was held
||Franco Frattini, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Justice, Freedom and Security, (in ENGLISH) saying that around 190,000 people sought asylum on the EU 27 territory in 2006; this is the lowest figure in many years; but, figures for the first trimester 2007 reveal an increase in number of those seeking protection in Europe; it is therefore more than ever essential to look for a truly common approach enabling equality of protection and efficient management of asylum systems
||Franco Frattini (in ENGLISH) saying that children, women and victims of torture cannot be left alone and they need special treatment; the existing legislation already provides in many cases special treatment for these groups but they must go further; they must identify the areas where they can still improve care, support, protection for vulnerable persons at all stages
||Franco Frattini (in ENGLISH) saying that there seems to be huge support for the creation of a European Asylum Support Office which could assist Member States in better implementing asylum policies by training those involved in asylum procedures, facilitating exchanges, centralizing resettlement commitments from Member States and administrating a future common portal of country of origin information
||Brenda King, President of the Section for Employment, Social Affairs and Citizenship of the EESC, (in ENGLISH) saying that the Committee asks for the following rights to be guaranteed to asylum-seekers: access to competent, qualified and impartial interpreters at every stage of the procedure; free legal assistance at every stage of the procedure; a personal interview carried out in a climate of trust and respect for the asylum-seekers; and the benefit of the doubt should be given to the asylum-seeker, when their application is examined
||Brenda King (in ENGLISH) saying that material reception conditions must provide an adequate standard of living so as to protect the health and well-being of the asylum-seeker and dependent family members; the sum and type of allowances granted should not differ too much from one Member State to another and should be determined with reference to the minimum social security entitlement
||General view of the hearing (4 shots)