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Reforming the European Asylum System: Moving Towards a Unified, Fair and Effective Framework

Home affairs, Migration and Integration
Date: Thursday, 15 November 2018 10:00 - 16:30

Venue: Central Brussels

According to the UN Refugee Agency, 16.2 million people became displaced during the course of 2017 due to persecution, conflict or violence. In this same year 650,000 first-time asylum seekers applied for international protection in the Member States of the EU, 538, 000 of which were granted protection status in one of the Member States (Eurostat, 2018).

The EU’s asylum system is under severe pressure and there are still thousands of refugees that wait to be relocated. The Commission is proposing to revise and replace the current asylum instruments to better manage migration flows through major legislative packages. The European Parliament is advocating for a fairer, more effective European asylum policy and the introduction of a mandatory relocation scheme based on GDP and population size criteria. In May 2016 the Commission presented a draft proposal to reform the EU Asylum rules. The key principles of the proposal are that: Member States must participate and share responsibility for asylum seekers to reduce the disproportionate burden on “frontline” members, security measures should be increased, asylum procedures should be simplified and harmonized across Member States, identification of persons in need of international protection should be done based on common criteria, and secondary movements of asylum applicants should be reduced by setting up geographical limitations.

The volume and concentration of arrivals has exposed in particular the weaknesses of the Dublin System. The current discussions on the CEAS reform, and a new Dublin Regulation, in EU circles revolve around the principles of solidarity and responsibility-sharing and that these should be effectively implemented. Engaging all relevant stakeholders in the on-going debate on the European asylum system, including NGO’s and civil society, is of critical importance in order to assist policy makers and politicians in finding practical and politically feasible solutions consistent with the realities of each country. In addition, it is agreed that ways of harnessing the skilled migrant force to counteract the economic repercussions of a rapid ageing population in Europe should be sought, provided that the European Union develops successful integration mechanisms in the host countries.

This international symposium provides an invaluable and timely opportunity to discuss and explore ways to reform the European asylum system in a manner that benefits both the Member States and the asylum seekers themselves. Delegates will have the chance to share best practice and discuss ways to strengthen multi-agency work. Public Policy Exchange welcomes the participation of all key partners, responsible authorities and stakeholders. 


Delegates will:

Review the recent approved proposals for the new Dublin System and understand their future impact

Analyze the European Parliament’s stance on the Dublin regulation

Explore how to build strong multi-agency cooperation on relocation and integration at local, national and European levels

Discuss ways of improving and harmonizing the new asylum framework

Understand ways to disrupt and prevent trafficking, violence and exploitation of refugees and asylum seekers

Examine successful projects and strategies to  improve the integration of refugees and their access to the labor market

Take part in interactive discussions with key stakeholders and share best practice in the protection of asylum seekers

Build strong partnerships between relevant stakeholders at national and international level 


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All Dates

  • Thursday, 15 November 2018 10:00 - 16:30

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