emphasise the interdependence of all asylum reform proposals issued in 2016;
reiterate the need for a comprehensive, overall approach which fosters sustainable policies on asylum and integration of asylum seekers and which involves the EU as a whole;
emphasise in particular the close link between reception conditions and prospects of integration;
point out the need to collect information on applicants' professional background and skills in the procedure of application for asylum as well as in resettlement procedure, as this information would help to and orient them to the Member States there they would have best integration prospects and would be offered the right integration measures;
stress that the local and regional authorities must be given the right conditions in order to ensure proper reception, the access to EU funds should be facilitated;
point out that needs of vulnerable groups must be taken into account and procedures and reception conditions must not delay or undermine integration process.
See pages 57-66 of the follow-up report drafted by the European Commission: https://cor.europa.eu/en/our-work/Documents/Opinions/73threportCoRFollow-upopinions.pdf
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- stresses the need for a comprehensive, overall approach which fosters sustainable policies on asylum and integration of asylum seekers and which involves the EU as a whole, in the framework of a system of genuine solidarity, including among Member States;
- while appreciating the Commission’s effort to provide solutions to an urgent situation generating political pressure, believes that a more in-depth reflection is necessary which goes to the roots of the issue, taking into account international obligations, migrants’ rights and the needs of the different levels of government, throughout the EU, without overburdening the border countries or countries most exposed or prized by asylum seekers for the sake of form or principle;
- considers that, in order to further integration and uproot the causes of secondary movements, it is important and necessary to take into account the effective connections, work-related skills and preferences of applicants regarding one or more Member States;
- suggests that, in examining whether an applicant has a well-founded fear of being persecuted or is at real risk of suffering serious harm, or has access to protection against persecution or serious harm in a part of the country of origin, information and guidance from independent sources and experts may also be taken into account;
- recommends that implementation of the measures on reception conditions be supported with greater access to and provision of EU funds, facilitating access for the regions and local authorities, which must be given the right conditions for the proper reception of asylum-seekers and new arrivals;
- is extremely concerned at the introduction of the regular review and the procedure for withdrawing international protection: these may not only potentially increase the burden for administrations (including local and regional administrations) in implementing practices and carrying out tasks related to the integration of refugees, but also cause insecurity for applicants;
- recommends reconsidering the decision to exclude from resettlement applicants who have entered the European Union irregularly during the last five years; in view of the pervasive illegal circumstances causing them to leave neighbouring countries, this decision seems to penalise applicants, who are often victims of this situation, excessively.