ECRE published a legal briefing on 17 June, which analyses the duration of residence permits granted to beneficiaries of international protection in European countries, as well as practical issues relating to the issuance and renewal of the permits.

The limited duration of residence permits under the Qualification Directive not only contrasts with refugee protection traditions in other parts of the world such as Canada and the United States, but also with practice in the majority of Member States. The briefing finds that three-quarters of EU countries have more favourable provisions than the Directive. The distinction in the duration of residence rights available to refugees and subsidiary protection beneficiaries under the Directive differs from the uniform rules on the duration of residence permits applied to the two statuses in seven out of twenty-eight EU Member States.

Review and cessation of international protection is also discussed in the briefing. The European Commission’s recent emphasis on the possible reform of the Qualification Directive with a view to introducing systematic reviews of status comes as another illustration of a ‘ticking clock’ approach to international protection. Here too, practice in most Member States differs as they refrain from revisiting statuses for protection reasons related both to integration and long-term settlement of beneficiaries. The necessity of mechanisms for systematic review therefore seems questionable.

This article appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin of 24 June 2016. You can subscribe to the Weekly Bulletin here.