ECRE’S call for withdrawal of that severely restrict access to independent legal assistance.

Quality legal assistance and representation throughout the asylum process is at the core of fair, transparent
and efficient asylum procedures. Asylum seekers are often not familiar with the national framework and face
significant obstacles in navigating and understanding the complexity of asylum procedures, e.g. because of
a lack of information or language barriers. Their disadvantaged position in the asylum procedure necessarily
calls for adequate guidance and assistance at the earliest stage possible as it creates trust in the asylum
process and benefits both asylum applicants and the asylum authorities. Yet access to free legal assistance
and representation for asylum seekers remains contentious in many European countries and has been subject
to various restrictions.

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