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Breakthrough for Common Asylum System

27 March 2013

Asylum seeker family from Afghanistan at a reception centre in Romania, June 2010. Photo: UNHCR/B. Szandelszky

"We have travelled a tough road to get here", EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said in a statement Wednesday, as representatives of EU Member states endorsed two vital parts of the Common European Asylum System.
"The negotiations have not always been easy and it has taken several years, but I am confident that formal adoption of the whole asylum package will soon be possible," Malmström said.

The EU Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) endorsed the texts of the recast Asylum procedures Directive and the EURODAC regulation, after negotiations between the Council, The European Parliament and the Commission. Both of these measures are now subject to the approval of the European Parliament and the Council.

"The Common European Asylum System has been my top priority since the beginning of my mandate and I have been involved in negotiations since the first day. Getting the system in place will be historic, something the EU Member States and the Parliament have been aiming at since 1999."

The revised Asylum Procedures Directive aims at fairer, quicker and better quality asylum decisions. The special needs of vulnerable people will be better taken into account. In particular there will be greater protection of unaccompanied minors and victims of torture.

Other parts of the asylum system include the revised Qualification Directive, already adopted in November 2011, which will contribute to improve the quality of asylum decision-making and ensure respect for human rights in that process.  The revised Reception Conditions Directive, meanwhile, further harmonises the Union's rules to ensure that there are humane material reception conditions for asylum seekers across the EU and aimed at ensuring that the fundamental rights of the concerned persons are fully respected.

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Read the full statement here. More information about the EU:s asylum policies can be found on the website of DG Home Affairs.