Need for a common European migration and asylum policy and need to amend and reinforce the Common European Asylum System (CEAS), so that practitioners’ requirements and needs are represented within the CEAS network.
The Common European Asylum System (CEAS) (negotiations started in 1999) is a legal and policy framework developed to guarantee harmonised and uniform standards for people seeking international protection in the EU. It is based on an understanding that the EU, an area of open borders and freedom of movement where countries share the same fundamental values, needs to have a common approach to implement transparent, effective and equitable procedures. CEAS is ensuring:  A clear and functional process to determine which country is responsible for examining an application for protection;  A set of common standards to inform fair and efficient asylum processes;  A set of common minimum conditions for the dignified reception of applicants for protection;  Convergence of the criteria for granting protection statuses and for the content of protection associated with those values. CEAS sought to address the following problems: (i) Asylum shopping (asylum seekers whose applications for asylum in one EU Member State are denied apply for asylum in another EU MS); (ii) disparate asylum outcomes in different EU MS which attracts asylum seekers towards EU MS where their application was more likely to be approved; (iii) differing social benefits for asylum seekers in different EU MS which again signals asylum seekers to file their petitions for asylum in the EU MS that had the best social benefits. CEAS in its first adoption phase (1999-2005) achieved progress with the following legislative measures: (1) the Asylum Procedures Directive; (2) the Reception Conditions Directive; (3) the Qualification Directive; (4) the Dublin Regulation,and (5) the Eurodac Regulation.
After the first CEAS phase EU MS implemented the following five legislations (recasts) that govern the minimum standards stated above were updated: (1’) Recast Asylum Procedures Directive; (2’) Recast Reception Conditions Directive; (3’) Recast Qualification Directive; (4’) Recast Dublin III Regulation; and (5’) Recast Eurodac Regulation.
The increased – and often uneven – pressure that national asylum and reception systems in EU countries faced since 2015 presented both a challenge and an opportunity for EU countries to take bold steps toward systemic and commonly-agreed solutions for further harmonisation, on the basis of solidarity and responsibility-sharing. Above all, it underlined the importance of the very existence of CEAS and a common migration policy – to have an EU-wide framework to manage mixed migratory flows, including border management, international protection and the return of rejected applicants. Since 2016, EC report (Communication Towards a Reform of the Common European Asylum System and Enhancing Legal Avenues to Europe) identified the following priorities:
- Establishing a sustainable and fair system for determining the Member State responsible for asylum seekers.
- Achieving greater convergence in the EU asylum system.
- Reinforcing the Eurodac system, an EU asylum fingerprint database which makes it easier for EU Member States to determine the state responsible for examining an asylum application.
- Preventing secondary movements within the EU.
- Establishing a new mandate for the EU’s Asylum Agency.
Finally, as part of the initiatives on reforming the CEAS, the Commission put forth a proposal to establish a permanent Union Resettlement Framework, which aims to replace existing ad hoc schemes and: (i) Provide legal and safe pathways to the EU and reduce the risk of massive irregular arrivals in the long term; (ii) Provide common rules for resettlement and humanitarian admission; (iii) Contribute to global resettlement and humanitarian admission initiatives; and (iv) Support third countries which host many persons in need of international protection.
 Council Directive 2005/85/EC of 1 December 2005 on Minimum Standards on Procedures in Member States for Granting and Withdrawing Refugee Status, 2005 O.J. (L 326/13).
 Council Directive 2003/9/EC of 27 January 2003 Laying Down Minimum Standards for the Reception of Asylum Seekers, 2003 O.J. (L 31/18)
 Council Directive 2004/83/EC of 29 April 2004 on Minimum Standards for the Qualification and Status of Third-Country Nationals or Stateless Persons as Refugees or as Persons who Otherwise Need International Protection and the Content of the Protection Granted, 2004 O.J. (L 304/12).
 Council Regulation (EC) No 343/2003 of 18 February 2003 Establishing the Criteria and Mechanisms for Determining the Member State Responsible for Examining an Asylum Application Lodged in One of the Member States by a Third-Country National, 2003 O.J. (L 50/1).
 Council Regulation (EC) No 2725/2000 of 11 December 2000 Concerning the Establishment of ‘Eurodac’ for the Comparison of Fingerprints for the Effective Application of the Dublin Convention, 2000 O.J. (L 316).
 Directive 2013/32/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013 on common procedures for granting and withdrawing international protection (recast).
 Directive 2013/33/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013 laying down standards for the reception of applicants for international protection (recast).
 Directive 2011/95/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 December 2011 on standards for the qualification of third-country nationals or stateless persons as beneficiaries of international protection, for a uniform status for refugees or for persons eligible for subsidiary protection, and for the content of the protection granted (recast).
 Regulation (EU) 604/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013 establishing the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an application for international protection lodged in one of the Member States by a third-country national or a stateless person (recast).
 Regulation (EU) 603/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013 on the establishment of ‘Eurodac’ for the comparison of fingerprints for the effective application of Regulation (EU) No 604/2013 establishing the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an application for international protection lodged in one of the Member States by a third-country national or a stateless person and on requests for the comparison with Eurodac data by Member States’ law enforcement authorities and Europol for law enforcement purposes, and amending Regulation (EU) No 1077/2011 establishing a European Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice (recast).
 European Commission. COM(2016) 197 final: Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council Towards a Reform of the Common European Asylum System and Enhancing Legal Avenues to Europe. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/en/TXT/?uri=celex%3A52016DC0197