Working with the European Union
The European Union (EU) has committed itself to building a Common European Asylum System based on the full and inclusive application of the 1951 UN Refugee Convention, for which UNHCR has a supervisory responsibility. The EU has a central role with respect to asylum and resettlement issues inside and outside the Union, and EU law and practice has considerable influence on the development of refugee protection mechanisms in other countries.
EU institutions such as the European Council, the European Commission, the European Parliament and the European Court of Justice have legislative, executive and judicial powers in areas directly relevant to UNHCR's mandate.
For all these reasons, the UN refugee agency follows EU asylum law and policy very closely. UNHCR’s Europe Bureau collaborates with EU institutions in Brussels and maintains liaison offices in Malta and Poland, which deal respectively with the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) and Frontex, the EU’s external border agency.
Promoting respect for international protection norms in EU law and policy is of vital importance to UNHCR, and the agency, accordingly, provides its views on a wide range of issues related to refugee protection, resettlement and integration in the 27-member EU. UNHCR's reports, proposals and observations on EU asylum law and policy can be found on this page.
UNHCR's regularly comments on key EU Regulations and Directives relating to asylum.
UNHCR has numerous projects with EU Member States to improve the quality of asylum.
UNHCR expertise helps courts interpret legislation in accordance with international asylum law.
UNHCR engages with EU Member States to identify and resolve the problems of stateless persons.
UNHCR expects Member States to pay particular attention to asylum seekers and refugees with specific needs.
The significance of resettlement as a durable solution is increasing in the EU.
Integration is a two-way process requiring efforts by the host societies as well as the refugees.
Trends on asylum and protection in EU Member States.
UNHCR is lobbying for protection-sensitive border management.
UNHCR is monitoring asylum practice and whether it is consistent with the 1951 Convention.
UNHCR is promoting and supporting cooperation with EU Member States and EASO.