Refugees and stateless persons — common standards for qualification

 

SUMMARY OF:

Directive 2011/95/EU — common standards for the qualification and international protection of refugees and stateless persons

WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE DIRECTIVE?

It aims to:

In this way, it seeks to limit the movement between EU countries of the people concerned due to differences in legislation.

The directive revises and replaces Directive 2004/83/EC, to ensure coherence with the case-law* of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and the European Court of Human Rights.

KEY POINTS

Purpose and definitions

Assessment of applications

Qualifying for refugee status

Qualifying for subsidiary protection

The ‘serious harm’ a non-EU national concerned would risk suffering if returned to his or her country of origin, or in the case of a stateless person, to his or her country of former habitual residence, includes:

Losing or being excluded from refugee status or subsidiary protection

The directive lists:

Content of international protection

The content of the status of a beneficiary of subsidiary protection is brought closer to that of a refugee, largely eliminating the possibility for EU countries to limit the access to some rights to refugees only.

International protection to be granted by the host EU country includes the following rights.

Countries falling outside the scope of the directive

Ireland and the UK have opted out of the directive, as they were allowed to do by Protocol 21 annexed to the Lisbon Treaty. Consequently, they continue to be bound by Directive 2004/83/EC.

Denmark is not bound by either this or by the previous directive due to the Protocol 22 on its position annexed to the Lisbon Treaty.

FROM WHEN DOES THE DIRECTIVE APPLY?

Directive 2011/95/EU revises and replaces Directive 2004/83/EC. Most of the articles of the directive 2011/95/EU, relating to aspects that were not covered by Directive 2004/83/EC, have applied since 22 December 2013. The new rules contained in Directive 2011/95/EU had to become law in the EU countries by 21 December 2013.

BACKGROUND

Known as the ‘Qualification Directive’, the directive is one of the main instruments within the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) together with the Asylum Procedures Directive, Reception Conditions Directive, Dublin Regulation and EURODAC Regulation. Also important is the strengthening of financial solidarity with the regulation establishing an Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund. In 2016, the European Commission adopted a communication launching the process for a reform of the CEAS.

KEY TERMS

Subsidiary protection: an international protection for persons seeking asylum who do not qualify as refugees. Under the directive, these are persons who would face a real risk of suffering ‘serious harm’ (defined in the text) if returned to the country of origin.
Case-law: the law as established by the outcome of former cases.
Refoulement: the act of forcing refugees or asylum seekers (someone whose claim for refugee status has not yet been determined) to return to a country where they are likely to face persecution.

MAIN DOCUMENT

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 (OJ L 337, 20.12.2011, pp. 9-26)

RELATED DOCUMENTS

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 (COM(2016) 197 final, 6.4.2016)

Regulation (EU) No 516/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 establishing the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund, amending Council Decision 2008/381/EC and repealing Decisions No 573/2007/EC and No 575/2007/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and Council Decision 2007/435/EC (OJ L 150, 20.5.2014, pp. 168-194)

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 (OJ L 180, 29.6.2013, pp. 60-95)

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 (OJ L 180, 29.6.2013, pp. 96-116)

Regulation (EU) No 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 (OJ L 180, 29.6.2013, pp. 31-59)

Successive amendments to Regulation (EU) No 604/2013 have been incorporated into the original document. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

Regulation (EU) No 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 (OJ L 180, 29.6.2013, pp. 1-30)

last update 29.01.2018