Is there a need for an extension of subsidiary protection in the European Union qualification directive?
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The establishment of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) by 2012 remains a key policy objective for the European Union (EU). According to the Council of the European Union, the development of a Common Asylum Policy should be based on a full and inclusive application of the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (“the 1951 Refugee Convention”) and other relevant international treaties. In the European Pact on Immigration and Asylum attention is brought to the persistence of wide disparities amongst Member States (MSs, MS) in the granting of protection and the form of protection granted. This is seen as one of the main problems to be addressed in building the CEAS. It is fairly obvious that existing divergences in policy have a substantial impact upon the aims of the CEAS. It can be assumed that the difference in governmental practices involving recognizing asylum seekers on refugee grounds or subsidiary protection grounds may be a substantial factor in the decision-making process on where to apply for international protection. The European Commission stressed the importance, during the second phase of the CEAS, of paying particular attention to subsidiary and other forms of protection. This Article analyses the need to expand subsidiary protection to additional groups of individuals at the EU level in order to fully align the provisions of the EU Qualification Directive with international human rights law. This would contribute to the asylum law harmonisation objectives of the Directive, as well as lay a foundation for the establishment of the CEAS. The Article may be of interest to national and European asylum and refugee law policy makers, as well as decision makers, non-governmental organisations and scholars interested in the gaps of EU asylum instruments and possible solutions to remedy it.
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