The Committee endorses the objectives set by the Commission with a view to completing the Common European Asylum System (CEAS); it would highlight, however, the disparity between the objectives set at EU level and practices at national level, which could be exacerbated by the economic crisis and its ensuing social and political effects.
The Committee believes that revising the directive could help create a much more suitable legislative and institutional basis for ensuring a high and consistent level of support to persons seeking international protection.
The Committee warns, however, that also in the case of this EU policy, there is a risk that excessive rhetoric and declarations of good intent may strip the values upheld by the EU of any meaning. Therefore, in the second phase of implementing this policy, in which the co decision procedure applies, legislative conditions should be put in place that enable real access for asylum seekers to the labour market and to training programmes.
The Committee underlines the importance of recognising the role played by civil society in general, and particularly by NGOs specialised in the field of asylum and asylum-related issues concerning refugees, and calls for them to be granted full access to all the procedures and places relevant to their work. However, it stresses the fact that these NGOs cannot take over the role and responsibilities of governments in this field.
The Committee notes with concern that national and EU practices relating to the expulsion of people who may need international protection lack the transparency that could lend them legitimacy in the eyes of the citizens of the countries concerned and the international community.
The Committee believes that the various budgetary constraints ensuing from the economic crisis should not lead to a reduction in the level and quality of protection received by beneficiaries.
The Committee supports the objective of enhancing the content of international protection by recognising qualifications and facilitating access to vocational training and jobs, as well as to integration facilities and accommodation.