The EESC welcomes the proposed improvements to the CEAS, such as the clarification of rights and obligations regarding access to the procedure, the replacement of the concept of vulnerability with the concept of special needs, as well as clear criteria for assessing it, the introduction of greater guarantees for minors, and the broadening of the concept of family.
The EESC is concerned about the limitation of fundamental rights, such as the restriction of free movement, the limitation of the right of minors to education, the application of a procedure to unaccompanied minors at the border, the possible lack of a case-by-case approach when analysing the safe country concepts, the limitation of guarantees for subsequent applications and accelerated procedures, the automatic review of protection statuses, and the punitive approach of the restrictions on reception conditions.
On the proposal for the Qualification Regulation, the EESC recommends:
- including the UNHCR criteria for assessing internal flight alternative;
- removing Article 12(6) of the Qualification Regulation in order to avoid the automatic application of excluding causes that do not take the particular background of the applicants into account;
- sharing the burden of proof between the applicant and the determining authority.
On the proposal for the Common Procedure Regulation, the EESC recommends:
- eliminating the automatic application of the concepts of safe third country, first country of asylum and safe country of origin, and of time limit reductions;
- increasing the guarantees in the context of administrative detention, setting clear detention time limits and restricting it to exceptional cases.
On the proposal for the Standards of Reception Directive, the EESC recommends:
- adopting a positive incentives approach in order to prevent secondary movements, rather than a punitive approach of excluding, reducing, withdrawing or replacing reception conditions;
- using the same legal tool to regulate reception conditions, procedures and eligibility criteria;
- including other family members such as siblings and other relatives, in line with the Dublin Regulation proposal.
The EESC is consulted on the following European Commission documents
- Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down standards for the reception of applicants for international protection (recast) - COM (2016) 465 - final
- Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on standards for the qualification of third-country nationals or stateless persons as beneficiaries of international protection, for a uniform status for refugees or for persons eligible for subsidiary protection and for the content of the protection granted and amending Council Directive 2003/109/EC of 25 November 2003 concerning the status of third-country nationals who are long-term residents - COM (2016) 466 - final
- Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a common procedure for international protection in the Union and repealing Directive 2013/32/EU - COM (2016) 467 - final