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Establishing a european list of safe countries of origin

Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing an EU common list of safe countries of origin

EESC opinion: Establishing a european list of safe countries of origin

Background information

The European Commission presented a comprehensive European Agenda on Migration on 13 May 2015, outlining, in addition to the immediate measures proposed shortly thereafter by the Commission to respond to the crisis situation in the Mediterranean, further initiatives that need to be taken to provide structural solutions for better managing migration in all its aspects.

Currently EU law does not contain an EU common list of safe countries of origin. The present proposal aims at establishing such a EU common list, on the basis of the common criteria set in Directive 2013/32/EU, as it will facilitate the use by all Member States of the procedures linked to the application of the safe country of origin concept and, thereby, to increase the overall efficiency of their asylum systems as concerns applications for international protection which are likely to be unfounded. An EU common list will also reduce the existing divergences between Member States’ national lists of safe countries of origin, thereby facilitating convergence in the procedures and deterring secondary movements of applicants for international protection.

On the basis of all relevant information at its disposal, in particular reporting from the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the information from Member States, the European Asylum Support Office (EASO), the Council of Europe, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other relevant international organisations, the European Commission has come to the conclusion that Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo*, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey are safe countries of origin within the meaning of Directive 2013/32/EU and should be included in the EU common list of safe countries of origin.