HC Deb 20 May 2002 vol 386 c75W
Mr. Jim Cunningham

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions he has had with EU partners on ensuring that the asylum and immigration process ensures equivalent standards of reception and accommodation throughout the European Union. [55577]

Angela Eagle

The European Commission presented a proposal for a Council Directive laying down minimum standards in the reception of applicants for asylum in member states in May of last year. The Directive imposes equivalent standards for accommodation, access to health care, employment and education. Following detailed negotiations a general approach agreement was achieved at the Justice and Home Affairs Council on 24–25 April 2002. Political agreement is expected by June 2002. European Union member states are to adopt this and other minimum standards measures on Asylum Procedures, Refugee Qualification and a mechanism for establishing which member state is responsible for an asylum claim by 2004.