TOWARDS A COMMON IMMIGRATION AND ASYLUM POLICY OF THE EU

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1 TOWARDS A COMMON IMMIGRATION AND ASYLUM POLICY OF THE EU by Philippe DE BRUYCKER Professor IES and Law Faculty of ULB & Coordinator of the Odysseus Academic Network 1

2 INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK Building policy and institutional framework together! Twenty years of evolution from the Single Act (1986, single market) till the lisbon Treaty (2010, AFSJ reunified)? The way from an institutional gap filled by intergovernmental cooperation to Community method with still exception of legal migration (first admission and mobility) till Lisbon 2

3 Results regarding immigration: Admission policy Integration policy Fight against illegal migration External relations 3

4 ADMISSION POLICY: Directive on family reunification (2003): example of weak harmonisation with non legally binding provisions in a legally binding instrument! Directive on admission of students (2004) + researchers (2005) Failure of proposal on economic migration (2001), Commission policy plan on legal migration (2005) announcing 5 proposals with Blue Card directive adopted (25 May 2009) What about non/low skilled migration? 4

5 INTEGRATION POLICY: Directive on long-term residents (2003) Anti-discrimination policy based on directive for equality between persons irrespective their racial or ethnic origin (2000) Network of contact points of Member States for integration (handbooks for practitioners) Common basic (non legally binding) principles for integration adopted by JHA Council (2004) Trend towards mandatory integration in several Member States to be endorsed at EU level? 5

6 FIGHT AGAINST ILLEGAL MIGRATION: Top priority for Member States Comprehensive approach based on Council plan to combat illegal immigration and trafficking (2002): 1. Visa policy (regulation 539/2001 listing third-countries, VIS) 2. Pre-frontiers measures (ILOs) 3. Exchange of information (Iconet) 4. External borders management (Frontex) 5. Return (directive adopted in June 2008) and readmission policy 6. Europol & Eurojust 7. Sanctions (against carriers, against traffickers and smugglers + against employers of illegals) 6

7 EXTERNAL RELATIONS: Around 10 Readmission + in parallel visa facilitations agreements (Macao & Honk-Kong, Sri-Lanka, Albania, China, Russia, Ukraine, Moldova + Balkan applicant countries) GLOBAL (triple) approach to migration for Africa and Meda countries (Rabat and Tripoli conferences in 2006) extented to the East Mobility partnerships (Cape-Verde and Moldova + Senegal and Georgia) 7

8 PERSPECTIVES FOR IMMIGRATION POLICY EUROPEAN PACT ON IMMIGRATION & ASYLUM OF OCTOBER COMMISSION COMMUNICATION OF 10 JUNE 2009 ABOUT THE FUTURE STOCKHOLM PROGRAMME FOR FJS 1. A dynamic immigration policy (ageing population, crucial contribution to economic performance): flexible admission system to match supply and demand on the basis of a European platform for dialogue (employers and unions) + Immigration code? (Communication of June 2009) 2. Circular (?) migration (Communication of May 2007) 3. To regulate family reunification more effectively by inviting each MS to take into consideration its own reception capacities and families capacity to integrate, as evaluated by resources, accommodation, and knowledge of country s language (Pact) 8

9 PERSPECTIVES FOR IMMIGRATION POLICY 3. «To use only case by case regularisation rather than generalised regularisation under national law for humanitarian or economic reasons» (Pact) 4. Fight against illegal immigration as top-level priority: e-borders based on new technologies (biometrics and databases) to control migration flows 9

10 Results regarding asylum: EC Acquis Practical coordination Externalisation 10

11 EC ACQUIS Dublin II (2003) regulation on determination of responsible Member State for asylum request Directive on reception conditions for asylum seekers (2003) Qualification directive (2004) giving a European interpretation of notion of refugee and creating subsidiary protection + defining status of both groups Procedure directive (2005) Temporary protection directive (2001) + European Refugee Fund 11

12 PRACTICAL COORDINATION: New field launched on the basis of Commission Communication of 2006 on practical cooperation on asylum regarding: 1. Single procedure 2. Country of origin information (COI) 3. Particular pressures 4. Training (EAC including Odysseus) 12

13 EXTERNALISATION: Big political debate opened by UK in 2003 but limited concrete developments Capacity building measures for third countries funded through general or special programmes + 2 pilot Regional Protection Programmes (RPP) Recent refoulement of boats by Italy to Libya 13

14 PERSPECTIVES FOR ASYLUM POLICY COMMISSION COMMUNICATION OF JUNE 2008 ON POLICY PLAN ON ASYLUM + JUNE 2009 ABOUT THE FUTURE STOCKHOLM PROGRAMME FOR FJS 1. Common European Asylum System for 2012 instead of More harmonised rules: second generation of legal instruments necessary to put an end to the asylum lottery + Mutual recognition of positive decisions in Efficient practical cooperation: European Asylum Support Office to be created on the basis of the Frontex model complementary to the legislative harmonisation 14

15 PERSPECTIVES FOR ASYLUM POLICY 4. More solidarity internal to the EU: Delaying the political evaluation of the Dublin system Internal (EU) reallocation of protected persons between voluntary Member States in case of specific pressures (pilot project for Malta) Clear rules of engagement for joint patrolling and disembarkation of rescued persons 5. More solidarity with third countries Resettlement: European schme for voluntary Member States (positive opening with refugees from Irak) 15

16 CONCLUSIONS Battle for sharing legislative power is finished: battle for executive power has started The time of the judge is coming up (ECJ but also ECHR; Charter legally binding with right to asylum at article 18) Come back of Open Method of Coordination after failure of 2001: annual debate on Pact at June European Council as from 2010 Labour market management is the key question (regularisations) Europe must accept fully to become what it already is: a continent of immigration able to welcome immigrants without transforming them into refugees 16

17 THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION 17

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