FRA Opinion concerning an EU common list of safe countries of origin

FRA’s opinions highlight general fundamental rights implications to be considered when applying the safe countries of origin concept. They should be read together with the relevant safeguards the Asylum Procedures Directive establishes. These safeguards provide for minimum guarantees that must also fully apply to applicants originating from countries on the proposed EU common list of safe countries of origin.

Designation of safe countries of origin can be a legitimate instrument to facilitate the processing of applications from persons whose claims for international protection are likely to be unfounded. Dealing with these claims in an effective manner can have a positive fundamental rights impact by allowing national asylum systems to focus on other persons whose applications are more likely to be well founded, thereby contributing to the reduction of processing times (where applicants remain in a limbo situation) for all applicants for international protection. An EU common list of safe countries of origin would, however, need to be accompanied by sufficient safeguards ensuring, in particular, that it is not to the detriment of fundamental rights of persons in genuine need of international protection originating from the countries in question.

The opinions in this document cover the following:

  • Right to asylum, non-refoulement and the prohibition of collective explulsion
  • Right to an effective remedy
  • Non-discrimination
  • Rights of the child