JHA Council Conclusions on Asylum, adopted 18 April 2008

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Council Conclusions on practical cooperation in the field of asylum

2863rd JUSTICE and HOME AFFAIRS ouncil meeting

Luxembourg, 18 April 2008

The Council adopted the following conclusions:

"The Council,

1. underlines that further enhancing practical cooperation in the field of asylum is one of the
key elements contributing to the establishment of a fair and efficient Common European
Asylum System, as foreseen by the Hague Programme, which guarantees effective
protection throughout the EU while preventing abuse of asylum procedures;

2. recalls the need for strengthening practical cooperation in the field of asylum, in order to
improve convergence in asylum decision making by Member States within the framework of
rules set by EC legislation in this field and emphasizes that practical co-operation leads to
enhanced coordination and increased efficiency;

3. welcomes the work already undertaken for this purpose and calls on the Commission and
Member States to intensify activities (such as the establishment of a Common EU Portal on
Country of Origin Information, the completion of an European Asylum Curriculum, the
setting up of an EU-wide Interpreters Pool, etc.) under the existing EU and other structures
in this field in the near future and to allocate the necessary human and financial resources to
this end, and to consult, where appropriate, with UNHCR and other relevant international

4. welcomes in that connection the feasibility study being undertaken by the Commission to
look at the question of the most appropriate means to provide adequate structural support for
all relevant activities in the area of practical cooperation in the field of asylum;

5. requests that the feasibility study should, in particular, examine the conditions necessary for
the timely establishment of a European Support Office and outline the tasks which it might
undertake (such as exchange of best practice, managing the Common EU Portal on Country
of Origin Information, training, activities related to the external dimension of asylum, etc.)
in order to assist Member States in their implementation of a Common European Asylum
System, as well as possible financial arrangements and organisational structure, taking into
account existing forms of cooperation between Member States and avoiding unnecessary
bureaucratic structures, consistent with the principle of subsidiarity;

6. invites the Commission to bring forward suggestions for further strengthening practical
cooperation while awaiting for a decision on the future structure for supporting practical
cooperation by the end of 2008.

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