The website for critical discussion about migration in Central and Eastern Europe.
19. 2. 09
Zdroj: UNHCR

A Europe Without Barriers: UNHCR’s Recommendations to the Czech Republic for its European Union Presidency (January – June 2009)

The tagline for the Czech Presidency of the EU has been set as “A Europe Without Barriers”. In December last year the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which provides advice to European Union institutions and Member States on asylum questions, put forward a series of recommendations to the Czech Republic in the light of this priority.
Though it commends the Presidency for its ambitious political commitment, the UNHCR notes that limits on freedom of movement apply to millions of refugees and asylum-seekers worldwide.  They outline their concern that greater freedom of movement within the EU should not affect access to EU territories for people who seek asylum and who are in need of protection. Furthermore, they argue that there is an inadequate level of harmonization across the EU with persons in need of international protection not able to find it in all Member States.

They propose that the Czech Presidency leads discussions in the Council on key legislative proposals from the European Commission (EC), including the revision of key migration regulations and directives as well as on the proposed establishment of a European Asylum Support Office.  With regard to the proposal to set up a relocation mechanism within the EU they outline a number of reservations. These include the requirement that relocation only happens with the full consent of individuals; that it occurs with due consideration for safety; that it forms part of a wider approach; and that any intra-EU relocation arrangement must not undermine or reduce EU participation in the resettlement of refugees from host countries outside the EU.

The UNHCR highlights the inconsistencies in asylum decisions, where mutual recognition of negative asylum decisions exists within the Union but no similar mutual recognition of positive decisions is attempted. As such they observe that refugees and subsidiary protection beneficiaries continue to be denied the rights held by other third country nationals despite years of lawful residence in the EU.

This is a summary, full text can be downloaded from:


19. 2. 09
Zdroj: UNHCR
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