EU Summit: High Commissioner's editorial comment on the EU approach to asylum
European Union leaders, who are currently meeting in Brussels, are expected later today to adopt the so-called Hague programme - a multi-annual programme that will, on the asylum front, mark the second phase of harmonization of the EU's asylum laws and systems. The first phase of this extremely important process was launched at Tampere, Finland, in 1999 and was concluded on May 1 of this year when the enlargement of the EU took place.
Meanwhile, High Commissioner Ruud Lubbers has written an editorial comment on the EU approach to asylum, which includes an examination of some of the problems currently affecting the performance of the asylum system in the EU today, and calls on Europe's leaders to - I quote - "acknowledge these realities and concentrate on creating a good system that is fair and efficient, not simply one that is fast." This opinion piece has been published by national press in some EU countries in the past couple of days and anyone else who wishes to publish it, or quote from it, is welcome to do so. Given the Brussels meeting, it's timely.