The aim of a CEAS is to create a level playing field, where any person seeking protection will be treated in the same way, according to the same standards, wherever they apply for asylum.
The Hague Programme envisaged 'practical and collaborative co-operation' among Member States as an important step in the process of achieving a Common European Asylum System. According to ECRE, Member States should enhance their practical cooperation through the exchange and application of best practices to ensure EU asylum systems are improved. For these purposes, ECRE would welcome the establishment of a European Asylum Support Office (EASO) if it were well-resourced and founded strongly on principles of democratic accountability and transparency.
ECRE does not support harmonisation for its own sake. However, ECRE supports the creation of a CEAS if it leads to good standards of protection that are in line with international and European refugee and human rights law. Five main legal instruments make up the EU acquis on asylum:
According to ECRE's assessment, while some measures within these instruments clearly aimed at improving standards, many others unfortunately allowed the lowest possible standards to prevail.
ECRE's position ►
► The development of a CEAS will only add value if it improves asylum laws, policies and practices in line with the international responsibilities.
► The result of this process should be that no matter where a person applies for asylum in the EU, they will be treated humanely in accordance with international and European refugee and human rights law and will receive the correct decision on their claim.
► Erecting ever-higher walls around Europe is not the solution and a far more balanced approach is needed.
► In developing a CEAS Europe should share good practice not bad laws.