The Italian Council for Refugees (CIR) and ECRE are organising a conference on access to the European territory and to asylum procedures for people fleeing war and persecution. The conference will take place in Brussels, at the Residence Palace on 28 October. To register, please email Yasmine Mittendorff at

The issue of access to protection in Europe will be approached both at policy level, especially in the light of the current Italian Presidency of the Council of the EU, and from a more technical perspective, starting from the modalities for the transposition into EU and national legislations and procedures the principles established in the case Hirsi Jamaa and others vs. Italy. In this judgment, from 2012, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruled that by pushing migrants back to Libya, Italy violated the European Convention on Human Rights and, in particular, the principle of non-refoulement, which prohibits returning migrants to countries where they may face persecution or inhuman or degrading treatment.

“The Strasbourg Court reached conclusions which have a far broader significance than the concrete case to which the Decision refers. Access to protection and to asylum procedures has become increasingly difficult in the countries of the European Union due to a combination of policies and measures that hamper the regular and safe arrival of asylum seekers. In this context, the Hirsicase is of utmost importance as it delineates clear standards that EU Member States must respect when implementing border controls”, said Maria De Donato from the Italian Council for Refugees.

Speakers include representatives of the Italian Navy, the EU Border Agency Frontex, UNHCR, the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe, ECRE and CIR. 

The conference is organized in the framework of the “Access to Protection: a Human right” project – funded by the European Programme for Integration and Migration (EPIM), an initiative of the Network of European Foundations.

Follow the conference online here

This article originally appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin of 10 October 2014 and edited on 24 October 2014. You can subscribe to the Weekly Bulletin here.