The European asylum policy has been a battle ground on many accounts for many years. In 1999, the EU introduced a Common European Asylum System with the Treaty of Amsterdam, thereby developing a system designed to set minimum standards across the EU Member States with regard to different aspects of asylum (especially the standards for the reception of applicants for international protection, the qualification of third-country nationals or stateless persons as beneficiaries of international protection, and the procedures for granting and withdrawing international protection).
The lack of harmonisation and consistency of standards across EU Member States has become a strong obstacle to a truly successful and effective Common European Asylum System. This is arguably still true, even after the statutory standards achieved by EU Directives 2011/95/EU on qualification for international protection, 2013/32/EU on asylum procedures, and 2013/33/EU on reception conditions, and the Commission’s attempts to strengthen these instruments.
This is also the case in relation to those asylum claims lodged on the basis of one’s sexual orientation or gender identity. While the Court of Justice of the EU has dealt with some related issues in X, Y and Z and in A, B and C, the EU framework in this area seems to lack consistency. While the adoption of measures for integration and social inclusion are hampered at EU level partially due to its limited powers, developments for a more comprehensive protection of SOGI asylum seekers and refugees are possible. The SOGICA project aimed to support these developments.
- SOGICA Project, ‘32 recommendations to the European Commission on the new EU LGBTI+ Equality Strategy‘, 3 July 2020
- SOGICA Project, Submission to EASO’s 2020 Annual Report on the Situation of Asylum in the European Union, 12 March 2020, referenced in European Asylum Support Office (EASO), ‘EASO Asylum Report 2020: Annual Report on the Situation of Asylum in the European Union’, EASO, 2020
- Ferreira N., Danisi C., Dustin M., Held N., ‘The reform of the Common European Asylum System: Fifteen recommendations from a Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Perspective‘, SOGICA/University of Sussex, May 2018.