Common European Asylum System

Part of Points of Order – in the House of Commons at 2:56 pm on 29th November 2007.

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Photo of Meg Hillier Meg Hillier Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office) (Identity) 2:56 pm, 29th November 2007

I beg to move,

That this House
takes note of European Union Document 10516/07, Commission Green Paper on the future Common European Asylum System;
notes the continued importance of working collectively on asylum issues with other Member States;
further notes the importance of the Dublin II Regulation, the current responsibility mechanism to deal with asylum seekers;
and supports the Government's position that proper implementation and a full evaluation of first phase instruments should take place before embarking on a second phase of legislation.

It gives me great pleasure to speak today about the important issue of asylum and how we work with our European partners to make sure that we have a common approach while protecting the UK's interests and sovereignty on that matter. We are here specifically to debate the green gaper published in June this year by the European Commission on the future of the common European asylum system. The green paper invited member states and relevant stakeholders to express their views on the future of European Union asylum work.

The 1997 treaty of Amsterdam and the 1999 Tampere European Council committed member states to establishing minimum standards for asylum procedures and policies across the European Union. A series of asylum directives were subsequently agreed and the procedures directive, the last of those, will be implemented in the UK on 1 December this year.

The implementation of the minimum standards directives has provided the basis for a common approach across Europe. That has helped to tackle asylum shopping, while also allowing member states to reflect their own distinct domestic circumstances.

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