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UNHCR recommends key steps for a more coherent European Asylum Policy

As the EU works to establish a Common European Asylum System (CEAS), UNHCR has recommended six steps toward greater coherence in European asylum policy to correlate with the Belgian EU Presidency which began on the 1st July.

The Common European Asylum System is based on the assumption that the treatment of asylum seekers and refugees is equal throughout the European Union but there are currently major discrepancies in reception conditions and assessment of claims. The establishment of the European Asylum Support Office, which should start operating during the Belgian Presidency, will be an important step toward improved coherence and quality of European asylum systems.

The recommendations include improving legislative standards especially where current EU norms diverge from international refugee law. UNHCR encourages the relevant European bodies to agree to a number of amendments to the main EU asylum instruments and directives and to a proposal to enable the temporary suspension of the Dublin II Regulation when participating states are facing particular pressures which their asylum systems cannot manage.

There is particular concern about the detention of asylum-seekers, the need to reinforce respect for the rights of children who seek asylum alone and to make sure that Europe's borders do not become impenetrable for those who are seeking and in need of protection.

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