Migration and Asylum Policy

Migration policy is geared towards combating illegal forms of migration and their negative repercussions (trafficking in persons, smuggling of human beings, forced labour) and attempts to exploit the benefits of legal migration.

In 1999, migration policy became – by virtue of the Treaty of Amsterdam – part of Community law and steadily developed into one of the most dynamic and most sensitive EU policies. An important trigger for the further development of this area should be the European Pact on Immigration and Asylum, which is based on an initiative of the French Presidency.

Well-managed legal – especially labour – migration should work in favour of third countries (for the purposes of their development) and the European Union – in order to make up for current labour shortages in certain sectors, even out unfavourable demographic developments and subsequently reinforce the EU’s economic growth and competitiveness. It is because of this that the concept of a ‘Global Approach to Migration’ was formed, the underlying theme of which is to strengthen cooperation and dialogue with third countries, without whose involvement it would be impossible to implement the migration policy effectively.

An integral part of the migration policy is the policy concerned with integrating immigrants into the society of Member States. Although activities in this field fall almost completely within the competence of Member States, the EU also pays attention to the challenge of integration. It tries to coordinate national approaches because the failure of one Member State to implement an integration policy can have various negative effects on other Member States. One of the preconditions for the successful integration of foreign nationals into the host society is a mutual understanding of what are often different cultures and values. With this in mind, the EU is developing intercultural dialogue to help combat racism and xenophobia.

Common asylum system

The European Union is keen to finish building the Common European Asylum System in the near future. So far, minimum standards have been adopted at EU level for the acceptance of applicants for international protection (asylum and subsidiary protection) – these are persons fleeing their country to escape persecution, which may occur on grounds of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.

At present work is under way to establish a common procedure for the granting of international protection and uniform status for those granted such protection. The application of a common procedure should, in practice, overcome the misuse of differences between the national asylum systems and ensure the provision of the same protection to all applicants within the EU.

Last update: 16.8.2011 16:02

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