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Annual Report: International Protection in the Czech Republic in 2009

Main trends, number of seekers, proceedings and European cooperation 

The Common European Asylum System
In 2009, efforts leading to the formation of a common space of protection and solidarity continued at EU level on the basis of a common asylum procedure and a unified status for recognised refugees. In relation to this, proposals were discussed for modifying the associated legislation contained in the first asylum package[4] . In the end of 2009, changes to the legislation contained in the second asylum package were published and discussions were launched. It concerned the proposed amendments to the qualification [5]  and procedural  [6]  directives. The proposed amendments to the above-mentioned directives are part of the second phase of building a common European asylum system its main objectives still being, in accordance with the 5-year EU Programme for Justice and Home Affairs (the Stockholm Programme), to achieve conditions enabling fair treatment, as concerns entrance conditions, and equal treatment as concerns the procedure and determination of the status regardless of which EU Member State the person requests asylum from.
Despite the fact that the Stockholm Programme does not set a time schedule for the next steps leading to the harmonisation of the asylum systems in the EU, the Conclusions of the European Council of October 2008 (approving the European Pact on Immigration and Asylum) set the year 2012 as deadline for completing the harmonisation of policies within the common asylum system.
In 2009, detailed discussions were held in the EU concerning the preparations for a new EU agency – the European Asylum Support Office (EASO), which represents one of the next steps to harmonising the asylum policies of EU Member States. In the third quarter of 2009, the associated legislative changes necessary to initiate the office’s activities were completed. Currently, the European Commission is finalizing the call for proposals for the position of the executive director of the EASO, which will have its headquarters in Malta from mid 2010.
Concurrently, practical and operative cooperation was deepened within the framework of the informal platform entitled General Directors Immigration Services Conference (GDISC). The main emphasis was placed on forming a Europe-wide asylum training (the European Asylum Curriculum) and to help Member States affected by increased migration pressures.
[4]  A proposed EP and Council Directive setting out the criteria and procedures for determining the Member State responsible for appraising an application for providing international protection submitted by a third country national or a stateless person in one of the Member States (reworked wording), COM (2008) 820; proposed EP and Council Directive on setting up the EURODAC system for comparing fingerprints to effectively implement Directive (EC) No. […/…] (recast), COM (2008) 825/3; proposed directive setting out the minimum standards for receiving asylum applicants (recast), COM (2008) 815
[5]  A proposed EP and Council Directive on the minimum standards for the qualification and status of third country nationals or stateless persons as beneficiaries of international protection and the content of the protection granted (recast), COM (2009) 551.
[6] A proposed EP and Council Directive on minimum standards on procedures in Member States for granting and withdrawing international protection (recast), COM (2009) 554.


Department for Asylum and Migration Policy, 26th February 2010

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