Building Knowledge for a Concerted and Sustainable Approach to Refugee Resettlement in the EU and its Member States

Policy Plan on Asylum (COM(2008) 360 final)

European Commission


Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 17 June 2008 – Policy Plan on Asylum: An integrated approach to protection across the EU. COM(2008) 360 final. (Not published in the Official Journal).


This policy plan provides the road-map for completing the second phase of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) (see 'Background' below). It is based on a three-pillar strategy that focuses on the harmonisation of protection standards, practical cooperation and solidarity.  Non-EU countries and countries of first asylum receive a far larger number of refugees. Therefore - in the name of shared responsibility - the EU will provide these countries more financial support to strengthen their capacity to provide protection. The integration of capacity-building for asylum into development cooperation will also be continued. The Commission proposes that the EU focuses (among other) on the following to enhance the protection of refugees:

  • Regional Protection Programmes (RPPs), which, on the basis of an evaluation to be carried out in 2008, will be transformed into regional multi-annual action plans;
  • Resettlement (on which the Commission will propose in 2009 a programme to develop it into an EU-wide effective tool of protection).


Following the entry into force of the Treaty of Amsterdam in 1999 and based on the conclusions of the Tampere European Council of 15-16 October 1999, the creation of CEAS was launched. Its first phase (1999-2005) aimed at harmonising EU countries’ legal frameworks on asylum based on common minimum standards. The goals for the second phase of CEAS were established by the Hague Programme. Resettlement has been identified as an integral element in the establishment of the CEAS, as reiterated in the European pact on immigration and asylum.

Files attached to this content:

COM(2008) 360 final