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Revision of the Community Code on Visas

12-04-2019

The European Union Code on Visas is one of the core elements of the EU's visa policy. It lays down the procedures and conditions for issuing short-stay visas for third-country nationals. On 14 March 2018, the Commission adopted a proposal to revise the Community Code on Visas (the visa code). The main objective of the proposal is to strengthen the common visa policy while addressing migration and security concerns. This will involve increasing the role of visa policy in the EU's cooperation with ...

The European Union Code on Visas is one of the core elements of the EU's visa policy. It lays down the procedures and conditions for issuing short-stay visas for third-country nationals. On 14 March 2018, the Commission adopted a proposal to revise the Community Code on Visas (the visa code). The main objective of the proposal is to strengthen the common visa policy while addressing migration and security concerns. This will involve increasing the role of visa policy in the EU's cooperation with third-countries, also taking economic considerations into account by facilitating the processing of visas for legitimate travellers who contribute to the EU's economy and its cultural and social development. After Parliament voted its position on the proposal in December 2018, trilogue negotiations brought an agreement on a compromise text in February. The plenary is due to vote on confirming this text during the April II plenary session. Second edition of a briefing originally drafted by Maria Margarita Mentzelopoulou and Costica Dumbrava. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Resettlement of refugees: EU framework

29-03-2019

Resettlement is one tool to help displaced persons in need of protection reach Europe safely and legally, and receive protection for as long as necessary. It is a durable solution which includes selection and transfer of refugees from a country where they seek protection to another country. Apart from providing international protection to refugees, its aim is also to strengthen solidarity and responsibility-sharing between countries. For a resettlement to take place, the United Nations Refugee Agency ...

Resettlement is one tool to help displaced persons in need of protection reach Europe safely and legally, and receive protection for as long as necessary. It is a durable solution which includes selection and transfer of refugees from a country where they seek protection to another country. Apart from providing international protection to refugees, its aim is also to strengthen solidarity and responsibility-sharing between countries. For a resettlement to take place, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has to determine an applicant is a refugee according to the 1951 Geneva Convention, and has to identify resettlement as the most appropriate solution. On 13 July 2016, as part of the reform of the Common European Asylum System and the long-term policy on better migration management, the Commission presented a proposal which aims to provide for a permanent framework with standard common procedures for resettlement across the EU, and will complement current national and multilateral resettlement initiatives. Although a partial provisional agreement on the proposal was reached between the Parliament and Council in summer 2018, the Council has been unable to endorse that, nor agree on a mandate for further negotiations.

Reception of asylum-seekers - recast Directive

29-03-2019

States must treat asylum-seekers and refugees according to the appropriate standards laid down in human rights and refugee law. The current migration crisis revealed wide divergences in the level of reception conditions provided by Member States. While some are facing problems in ensuring adequate and dignified treatment of applicants, in others the standards of reception provided are more generous. This has led to secondary movements of asylum-seekers and refugees, and has put pressure on certain ...

States must treat asylum-seekers and refugees according to the appropriate standards laid down in human rights and refugee law. The current migration crisis revealed wide divergences in the level of reception conditions provided by Member States. While some are facing problems in ensuring adequate and dignified treatment of applicants, in others the standards of reception provided are more generous. This has led to secondary movements of asylum-seekers and refugees, and has put pressure on certain Member States. The aim of the proposed recast directive, which would replace the current Reception Conditions Directive, is to ensure greater harmonisation of reception standards and more equal treatment of asylum-seekers across all Member States, as well as to avoid ‘asylum shopping’ whereby asylum-seekers choose the Member State with the highest protection standards for their application. Although the co-legislators reached provisional agreement on the proposal in trilogue, Coreper was not able to confirm the Council’s support for that text and trilogue negotiations have yet to restart. Fourth edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Reform of the Dublin system

01-03-2019

The refugee and migrant crisis in Europe has exposed the need for reform of the Common European Asylum System, in general, and of the Dublin rules, in particular. The Commission’s proposal of 4 May 2016 to reform the Dublin system would not change the existing criteria for determining which Member State is responsible for examining an asylum application. Instead of a fundamental overhaul of the Dublin regime, as suggested by Parliament, the Commission proposed to streamline and supplement the current ...

The refugee and migrant crisis in Europe has exposed the need for reform of the Common European Asylum System, in general, and of the Dublin rules, in particular. The Commission’s proposal of 4 May 2016 to reform the Dublin system would not change the existing criteria for determining which Member State is responsible for examining an asylum application. Instead of a fundamental overhaul of the Dublin regime, as suggested by Parliament, the Commission proposed to streamline and supplement the current rules with a corrective allocation mechanism. This mechanism would be triggered automatically were a Member State to be faced with disproportionate numbers of asylum-seekers. If a Member State decided not to accept the allocation of asylum-seekers from another one under pressure, a ‘solidarity contribution’ per applicant would have to be made instead. An agreement on the balance between responsibility and solidarity regarding the distribution of asylum-seekers will be a cornerstone for the new EU asylum policy. Although Parliament’s LIBE committee adopted its positon in autumn 2017, the Council has been unable to reach a position on the proposal.

Revising the Visa Information System

15-11-2018

The Commission aims to upgrade the visa information system to allow for more thorough background checks on visa applicants, close security information gaps and ensure full interoperability with other EU-wide databases. This initial appraisal of the Commission’s impact assessment on the proposal observes that the impact assessment is underpinned by several stakeholder consultations and external studies. The Commission seems to be transparent about data limitations. However, the problem descriptions ...

The Commission aims to upgrade the visa information system to allow for more thorough background checks on visa applicants, close security information gaps and ensure full interoperability with other EU-wide databases. This initial appraisal of the Commission’s impact assessment on the proposal observes that the impact assessment is underpinned by several stakeholder consultations and external studies. The Commission seems to be transparent about data limitations. However, the problem descriptions are not always clear or convincing. In addition, considering the partly highly sensitive issues at hand, such as the fingerprinting of minors, the safeguards for fundamental rights protection in cases of errors or abuse could have been better explained.

European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS)

18-10-2018

Strengthening the EU’s external borders is key to ensuring internal security and to preserving freedom of movement in the Schengen area. While the existing border management information systems do address some of the information gaps concerning non-EU citizens coming into the EU, there is a lack of information related to visa-exempt third-country nationals arriving at the Schengen external borders. The European Commission is therefore proposing to set up an automated system that would gather information ...

Strengthening the EU’s external borders is key to ensuring internal security and to preserving freedom of movement in the Schengen area. While the existing border management information systems do address some of the information gaps concerning non-EU citizens coming into the EU, there is a lack of information related to visa-exempt third-country nationals arriving at the Schengen external borders. The European Commission is therefore proposing to set up an automated system that would gather information on visa-exempt travellers prior to their arrival, in order to determine any irregular migration, security or public-health risks associated with them. The proposal follows similar models already existing in the USA, Canada and Australia, among others. ETIAS formally entered into force in October 2018, but will not become operational before 2021. Fourth edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

Revision of the Schengen Information System for border checks

18-10-2018

The Schengen Information System (SIS) is a large-scale information database that supports external border control and law-enforcement cooperation in the Schengen states by enabling competent authorities, such as police and border guards, to enter and consult alerts on wanted or missing persons and lost or stolen property. In view of responding more effectively to new migration and security challenges, in December 2016, the European Commission put forward a package of three legislative proposals aimed ...

The Schengen Information System (SIS) is a large-scale information database that supports external border control and law-enforcement cooperation in the Schengen states by enabling competent authorities, such as police and border guards, to enter and consult alerts on wanted or missing persons and lost or stolen property. In view of responding more effectively to new migration and security challenges, in December 2016, the European Commission put forward a package of three legislative proposals aimed at revising the legal framework of the SIS. The proposal on the establishment, operation and use of the SIS in the field of border checks provides for more effective use of fingerprints and facial images in the SIS, and imposes an obligation on the Member States to record all entry bans issued to thirdcountry nationals who have been found staying illegally in their territory. Third edition of a briefing originally drafted by Costica Dumbrava. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

Use of the Schengen Information System for the return of illegally staying third-country nationals

18-10-2018

The Schengen Information System (SIS) is a large-scale information database that supports external border control and law enforcement cooperation in the Schengen states. It does so by enabling competent authorities, such as police and border guards, to enter and consult alerts on wanted or missing persons and lost or stolen property. In view of responding more effectively to new migration and security challenges, in December 2016, the European Commission put forward a package of three legislative ...

The Schengen Information System (SIS) is a large-scale information database that supports external border control and law enforcement cooperation in the Schengen states. It does so by enabling competent authorities, such as police and border guards, to enter and consult alerts on wanted or missing persons and lost or stolen property. In view of responding more effectively to new migration and security challenges, in December 2016, the European Commission put forward a package of three legislative proposals aimed at revising the legal framework of the SIS. The proposal on the use of the SIS for returning illegally staying third-country nationals aims to enhance the enforcement of the EU return policy and to reduce the incentives to irregular migration to the EU. Among other things, the proposal introduces the obligation for Member States to enter all return decisions into the SIS. Third edition of a briefing originally drafted by Costica Dumbrava. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

Revision of the Schengen Information System for law enforcement

18-10-2018

The Schengen Information System (SIS) is a large-scale information database that supports external border control and law enforcement cooperation in the Schengen states. It enables competent authorities, such as police and border guards, to enter and consult alerts on certain categories of wanted or missing persons and lost or stolen property. In December 2016, the European Commission adopted a package of proposals aimed at responding more effectively to new migration and security challenges. One ...

The Schengen Information System (SIS) is a large-scale information database that supports external border control and law enforcement cooperation in the Schengen states. It enables competent authorities, such as police and border guards, to enter and consult alerts on certain categories of wanted or missing persons and lost or stolen property. In December 2016, the European Commission adopted a package of proposals aimed at responding more effectively to new migration and security challenges. One of these proposals is focused on improving and extending the use of the SIS in the field of police cooperation and judicial cooperation in criminal matters. It clarifies procedures, creates new alerts and checks, extends the use of biometrics, and enlarges access for law enforcement authorities. Third edition of a briefing originally drafted by Costica Dumbrava. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Humanitarian visas

17-10-2018

90 % of those granted international protection reach the European Union through irregular Means. Member States' failure to offer regular entry pathways to those seeking international protection undermines the achievement of their Treaty and fundamental rights obligations. This situation also has severe individual impacts in terms of mortality and damage to health, negative budgetary and economic impacts EU legislation on humanitarian visas could close the current effectiveness and fundamental rights ...

90 % of those granted international protection reach the European Union through irregular Means. Member States' failure to offer regular entry pathways to those seeking international protection undermines the achievement of their Treaty and fundamental rights obligations. This situation also has severe individual impacts in terms of mortality and damage to health, negative budgetary and economic impacts EU legislation on humanitarian visas could close the current effectiveness and fundamental rights protection gap in EU asylum policy by offering safe entry pathways, reducing irregular migration and result in increased management, coordination and efficiency in the asylum process, as well as promoting fair cost-sharing.

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