A Survey Of European Asylum Policy And Legislation By Geoffrey Fitchew


1. This paper describes and assesses the development of EU policy and legislation on asylum issues, since the Treaty of Amsterdam, adopted in 1997, first gave the EU institutions powers of legislation on this subject. The first part of the paper summarises the developments in the powers of the EU institutions to legislate on asylum and immigration matters. The second, third and fourth parts describe in detail the legislation on asylum adopted by the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament between 2001 and 2005 following the programme adopted by the European Council of Heads of State and Government at their meeting at Tampere in Finland in October 1999. The fifth part describes the background to the European Commission’s plans for further legislation following the programme adopted by the European Council at its Hague meeting in 1990 and outlines three proposals put forward by the Commission to amend some of the earlier legislation in December 2008. The sixth part of the paper assesses some policy and legal problems which the UK government may have to deal with in responding to these new proposals. Finally, I give a brief overall assessment of how the EU’s legislation on asylum has worked so far and its impact on the UK.

See Briefing Paper No 4.11 for the full survey.

20th May 2009 - Asylum, European Union, Legal Matters, Policy

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