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The Council adopted today a political agreement on the directive laying down standards for the reception of asylum seekers (recast) (14112/1/12). This political agreement fully reflects the result of negotiations with the European Parliament. Once formally adopted, member states will need to transpose the new provisions into national law within two years. Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom are not bound by the directive.
The amended receptions conditions directive will provide better and more harmonised standards of living to applicants for international protection throughout the European Union, irrespective in which member state the application has been made. Particularly important are the new rules concerning detention and the better standards for vulnerable persons including (unaccompanied) minors. Member states that wish to do so can provide for more favourable rules.
The new EU rules take also better into account the different national legal systems, avoid unnecessary administrative and financial burden and enable member states to fight abuse of their asylum systems more effectively.
Moreover, an applicant for international protection can only be detained if at least one of the grounds listed in the directive applies.
The European Council has committed itself to establish by 2012 a Common European Asylum System based on further harmonisation of national asylum systems and higher levels of protection.
The amended reception conditions directive is one of the five legislative instruments for establishing the Common European Asylum System. The Council and the European Parliament have already reached agreement on the qualification directive1 which entered into force in January 2012. The asylum procedures directive, the Dublin regulation and the Eurodac regulation are in different stages of negotiation between the two co-legislators.
Furthermore, three other important asylum related dossiers have been adopted over the past two years:
Directive 2011/95/EU 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 (OJ L 337, 20.12.2011, p. 9)