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Reforming the Common European Asylum System in a spirit of humanity and solidarity

In 2016, the European Commission launched a reform process looking at the European Union’s (EU) asylum framework, with a view to further harmonising asylum procedures and standards, and implementing a fair and sustainable mechanism to distribute asylum applicants among Member States. One of the European Commission’s key objectives is to prevent abuse of the system and limit secondary movements of asylum seekers within the EU(2).

Drawing from their practical experience working with and for migrants in Europe, National Red Cross Societies in the EU call on the European Commission, the European Parliament and EU Member States to consider the following recommendations during this reform process: 

  1. Guarantee each asylum applicant effective access to protection systems.
  2. Uphold high standards so as to reduce secondary movements.
  3. Do not limit individual rights as a sanction for secondary movements.
  4. Invest in support measures for Member States to create conditions that reduce incentives for secondary movements.
  5. Consider family reunification as the first criteria for determining responsibility among Member States.
  6. Ensure Unaccompanied Minors have prompt access to protection, in accordance with the Best Interests of the Child.
  7. Take specific needs into account throughout the asylum procedure.
  8. Carefully consider transfers of vulnerable asylum seekers.
  9. Mutually recognise positive asylum decisions between Member States.
  10. Guarantee a suspensive appeal mechanism for decisions on transfers and returns. 

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