Members' Research Service By / May 10, 2017

Reform of the Qualification Directive [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Detelin Ivanov (2nd edition), The current refugee and migrant crisis in Europe has called into question existing EU…

© RVNW / Fotolia

Written by Detelin Ivanov (2nd edition),

Migrants Europe
© RVNW / Fotolia

The current refugee and migrant crisis in Europe has called into question existing EU legislation on asylum, in particular the criteria according to which applicants for international protection can qualify for refugee or subsidiary protection status, as recognised in the Qualification Directive.

Although national asylum rules are more closely aligned than they were, major differences in approach persist across the EU. This can lead asylum-seekers to claim refuge in Member States whose asylum systems appear to be more generous, rather than in the Member State officially responsible for their asylum applications.

The Commission’s proposal of 13 July 2016 proposes to replace the Qualification Directive with a regulation, setting uniform standards for the recognition of people in need of protection and for the rights granted to beneficiaries of international protection.

Although Parliament and Council negotiators reached provisional agreement on the text in June 2018, this has not been confirmed by the Council, with further steps as yet to be determined.


Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on standards for the qualification of third-country nationals or stateless persons as beneficiaries of international protection, for a uniform status for refugees or for persons eligible for subsidiary protection and for the content of the protection granted and amending Council Directive 2003/109/EC of 25 November 2003 concerning the status of third-country nationals who are long-term residents
Committee responsible: Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs COM(2016) 466

Ordinary legislative procedure (COD) (Parliament and Council on equal footing – formerly ‘co-decision’)

Rapporteur: Tanja Fajon (S&D, Slovenia)
Shadow rapporteurs: Alessandra Mussolini (EPP, Italy)

Jussi Halla-Aho (ECR, Finland)

Angelika Mlinar (ALDE, Austria)

Barbara Spinelli (GUE/NGL, Italy)

Jean Lambert (Greens/EFA, UK)

Fabio Massimo Castaldo (EFDD, Italy)

Next steps expected: Further trilogue negotiations


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  • EU,including Germany, can take the reform of most simplified qualifications to form qualifications required by EU basic law in the form of e-qualification via EU E-qualification E-platform.

  • Good Evening,
    could you please tell what the current status of the reformated Qualification Directive is? Is there any date planned on which it shall be released?

    Yours Sincerely

    • Dear Stephan,
      Since September 2017, the Estonian presidency has started trilogues with the EP (12802/17) on differing positions on sensitive aspects such as status approximation and length of residence permits, , internal protection alternative, refugees status and subsidiary protection review, and a three-month “grace period” for international protection beneficiaries whose status has been withdrawn. In October 2017 further trilogues achieved progress on the assessment of facts submitted by applicants and international protection needs arising on the spot.
      In November 2017 Coreper extended the negotiation mandate, including the definition of ‘family members’ in it. However, an annex containing the information to be provided to international protection beneficiaries is under further discussion in the Council preparatory bodies and is not yet included in the mandate (15057/17).

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