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UNHCR issues recommendations for incoming Hungarian EU Presidency

Briefing notes

UNHCR issues recommendations for incoming Hungarian EU Presidency

14 December 2010

UNHCR is today publishing its recommendations addressed to Hungary for its European Union Presidency which begins on January 1, 2011 for a six month term.

Hungary will take on the Presidency of the European Union at the beginning of an important year for international protection. Today is UNHCR's 60th birthday and 2011 will mark the 60th anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (28 July 2011), and the 50th anniversary of the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness (30 August 2011). These anniversaries are an opportunity to reinforce support for refugees and for stateless persons worldwide.

As the EU continues its work to complete a Common European Asylum System, UNHCR looks to Hungary to take a lead in identifying opportunities for the European Union to reiterate and strengthen its commitment to the central values of international protection. Hungary inherits a challenging agenda of discussions on legislative changes and practical challenges with respect to asylum in the EU. UNHCR encourages Hungary to demonstrate leadership to secure agreement on essential amendments to EU asylum law and to ensure its conformity with international law and jurisprudence. Collaboration on practical cooperation and responsibility-sharing within the EU are also important priorities. Perhaps most striking today is the challenge of ensuring adequate safeguards for people seeking protection in the context of border and migration management, not least in light of the difficult situation at the border between Turkey and Greece.

UNHCR's recommendations also encourage the Hungarian Presidency to draw attention to the situation of stateless people around the world, and to the need for more energetic efforts to reduce statelessness. We also look to Hungary to intensify work at EU level to address issues concerning Roma, both inside and outside the EU.

UNHCR's Recommendations to Hungary for its EU Presidency, January-June 2011