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European Commission


Brussels, 27 March 2013

Statement by EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström on the endorsement by Coreper of the Asylum Procedures Directive and the EURODAC regulation

''An agreement on these two texts means that we are now heading towards the formal adoption of all the proposals presented by the European Commission. This would represent a remarkable achievement for the whole European Union.

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 CEAS in place will be historic, something the EU Member States and the Parliament have been aiming at since Tampere 1999.

Having been formally endorsed by the Home Affairs Council and the European Parliament, the CEAS will provide better access to the asylum procedure for those who request protection; will lead to fairer, quicker and better quality asylum decisions; will ensure that people in fear of persecution will not be returned to danger; and will provide dignified and decent conditions for both those who apply for asylum and those who are granted international protection within the EU.

It will also better equip Member States with the necessary tools to detect and prevent abuses and will introduce more consistent and robust quality standards all around the European Union.

I welcome the constructive attitude shown by the European Parliament and the Council in negotiating these very sensitive proposals. We have travelled a tough road to get here. 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."

The Common European Asylum System package is composed of:

  • The revised Asylum Procedures Directive, trilogue agreement on 21 March, which aims at fairer, quicker and better quality asylum decisions. The special needs of vulnerable people will be better taken into account and in particular there will be greater protection of unaccompanied minors and victims of torture.

  • The revised Reception Conditions Directive, on which political agreement was reached in 2012, which 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.

  • The revised Qualification Directive, already adopted in November 2011, which will contribute to improve the quality of asylum the decision-making and ensure respect for human rights in that process.

  • The revised EURODAC Regulation, trilogue agreement on 21 March, which will allow law enforcement access to the EU database of the fingerprints of asylum seekers under strictly limited circumstances in order to prevent, detect or investigate the most serious crimes, such as murder, and terrorism.

  • The revised Dublin Regulation, trilogue agreement on 14 November 2012, which will allow early detection of problems in the national asylum or reception systems, and will address their root causes before they develop into fully fledged crises.

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