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Positive signals from European Council

24 June 2011

The 2012 deadline for agreeing on a Common European Asylum System has been confirmed by the political leaders of EU Member States. There is an EU-wide agreement to initiate long-term mobility partnerships with the countries in North Africa. And EU Heads of State and Government have reiterated their support for Schengen. Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmström welcomes the Council conclusions.

During the concluding press conference, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy underlined that EU leaders now have "set the traffic light in the negotiations in the Council [on a European asylum policy] to green":
"We consider the recent Commission proposals on procedures and reception conditions as a basis for those further negotiations, and we confirm the 2012 target date for the establishment of the Common European Asylum System", said Herman Van Rompuy.

Commission President José Manuel Barroso reiterated the unanimous support by Heads of State and Government for the principles of free movement within the Schengen agreement.
"We have agreed on an EU based approach to avoid the risk of unilateral action which disrupts free movement and could also undermine the single market. The Commission will come forward with its concrete proposals shortly", argued President Barroso.

Cecilia Malmström is pleased with the attention given by the European Council to asylum, migration, free movement of people, and border issues. In a comment after the Summit she says that she is pleased that the Council conclusions clearly states that "it is crucial" to reach an agreement on a Common European Asylum System by next year.

Also the future partnerships with North Africa got support from EU leaders.
"The Commission is determined to engage in constructive dialogues in an effort to support these countries in their transition towards democracy and to work with migration and mobility in a way that is mutually beneficial", said Cecilia Malmström.

Read the European Council conclusions , as well as the full statements from Cecilia Malmström, José Manuel Barroso, and Herman Van Rompuy . The concluding press conference can be watched online.