Comparative reports

Annual and thematic reports on asylum in Europe

Here you can access the AIDA Comparative Reports, providing a comparative analysis of practice relating to asylum procedures, reception conditions and detention across the countries covered by the database, in addition to an overview of statistical asylum trends and discussions of key developments in asylum and migration policies in Europe.

  • Asylum authorities: An overview of internal structures and available resources, 11 October 2019: This comparative report provides an overview of the structure, composition and functioning of asylum authorities at first instance. It aims to offer a better understanding of their operation and demonstrates that their ability to conduct a rigorous and fair examination of applications for international protection is inherent to their internal organisation and resources.
  • Housing out of reach? The reception of refugees and asylum seekers in Europe, 27 May 2019: This comparative report provides an update to ECRE’s analysis of reception systems in Europe following the steady decrease in arrivals of refugees and asylum seekers in the past three years. This includes cases where countries have prematurely reduced their reception capacity and have become unprepared to deal with recent increases in arrivals or backlogs of pending cases.
  • Access to protection in Europe: The registration of asylum applications, 11 October 2018: This comparative report examines the effectiveness of access to protection through an analysis of legal systems and practice concerning registration of asylum applications. It analyses the legal and practical aspects of registration of asylum claims, with focus on: responsible authorities and content of information collected; locations of registration; time limits; and documentation. It also discusses interplay of the Dublin procedure (following the Court of Justice of the European Union ruling in Mengesteab) and the specific mechanisms for registration of asylum applications made at the border and in detention centres.
  • Access to protection in Europe: Borders and entry into the territory, 11 October 2018: This comparative report provides an analysis of legal frameworks and practice relating to access to the territory for the purpose of seeking asylum. Push backs, through incorrect use of refusal of entry procedures or an avoidance of formal procedures altogether, remain an endemic problem across internal and external borders of the continent. The persisting practice of push backs does is closely connected to policy discussions on the Common European Asylum System, and the EU’s discourse shift from the plight of refugees to prevention of “illegal migration” at any cost.
  • Boundaries of Liberty: Asylum and de facto detention in Europe, 31 March 2018: This comparative report analyses policies and practices of detention of asylum seekers in European countries, which occur through the blurring of the boundaries between reception and deprivation of liberty. The detention of people seeking protection is a common aspect of asylum systems, despite evidence of its damaging effects on individuals and limited success in regulating the movement of people. More critically, it is a highly opaque phenomenon. Places of detention are underpinned by varying and creative terminology from one country to another, while data on the scale of detention is scarce, complex and in constant need of qualification and explanation.
  • The concept of vulnerability in European asylum procedures, 7 September 2017: This comparative report reveals widely diverse systems for supporting vulnerable groups across European asylum procedures and recommends a series of improvements to ensure adequate and coherent data collection, identification mechanisms, special procedural guarantees and protective use of the Dublin Regulation.
  • Refugee rights subsiding? Europe's two-tier protection regime and its effect on the rights of beneficiaries, 30 March 2017: This report discusses the impact of Europe’s two-tier protection regime, distinguishing between refugee status and subsidiary protection, on the rights of those granted protection. Differences in the status granted have direct and far-reaching impact on the lives of beneficiaries of international protection, given that they entail a widely different set of rights between refugees and subsidiary protection holders in some countries.
  • Admissibility, responsibility and safety in European asylum procedures, 7 September 2016: In the implementation of their international obligations, European and EU states have devised sophisticated asylum systems based on complex procedural tools. In some cases, tools are designed and used for the purpose of avoiding responsibility for refugees, because they allow claims to be dismissed as inadmissible before looking at the substance of the claim. The recent EU-Turkey deal and the European Commission’s proposal for harmonised asylum procedures under an Asylum Procedures Regulation, for instance, revolve around concepts such as “safe third country” and “first country of asylum”. This comparative report documents the limited and fragmented application of admissibility and safe country concepts in 20 European countries.
  • Wrong counts and closing doors: The reception of refugees and asylum seekers in Europe, 31 March 2016: This comparative report demonstrates that Europe’s ongoing failure to find humane responses to the plight of refugees has led to severe difficulties in ensuring reception for those seeking asylum. It shows that the inability of reception systems to adapt to higher numbers of asylum seekers is a structural challenge throughout Europe. This has been the case in countries receiving the majority of refugees and migrants, but equally in those faced with much smaller increases in the number of arrivals. The lack of sufficient accommodation places has driven many persons in need of protection into inadequate living conditions and destitution.
  • Common asylum system at a turning point: Refugees caught in Europe's solidarity crisis, 10 September 2015: As the world is witnessing the largest displacement crisis since World War II, which is driving an unprecedented number of people fleeing war and persecution to undertake dangerous, life-threatening journeys to safety, this comparative report shows that the European Union’s common policy on asylum lacks solidarity and consistency.
  • Mind the Gap: An NGO Pespective on Challenges to Accessing Protection in the Common European Asylum System, 9 September 2014: This comparative report shows that, while the boat arrivals continue to make the headlines in the European press and the numbers of persons arriving by sea in Italy reach unprecedented levels, a true European response is lacking. It provides an overview of relevant issues such as with regard to asylum seekers’ access to material reception conditions, the grounds and conditions of detention and asylum seekers’ access to quality free legal assistance during the asylum procedure.
  • Not There Yet: An NGO Perspective on Challenges to a Fair and Effective Common European Asylum System, 5 September 2013: The comparative report confirms that there is still a long way to go in the establishment of a fair and efficient Common European Asylum System despite more than 12 years of harmonising national asylum policies and the adoption of the ‘asylum package’ in June 2013. Huge differences remain between Member States as regards the procedural rules and safeguards for asylum seekers, their access to accommodation and employment, and the use of detention.