On 28 October 2014, the Italian Council for Refugees (CIR) and ECRE organised a conference on access to the European territory and to asylum procedures for people fleeing war and persecution. It was the final event of the EPIM-funded project “Access to Protection: a Human Right”, led by CIR in partnership with Hungarian Helsinki Committee, The People for Change Foundation, Greek Refugee Council, Pro Asyl, Comisión Española de Ayuda al Refugiado, Portuguese Council for Refugees. The project aimed at promoting conformity of national and EU policies and practices to the European and international human rights obligations.
Key outcome of the project is the report “Access to Protection: Bridges, not Walls”, which analyses the main EU legal instruments and practices in the field of migration and asylum, with a particular focus on acts adopted subsequent to the ECHR case Hirsi Jamaa and others vs. Italy. The findings of the report provided the basis of discussion in the conference, which approached the issue of access to protection in Europe at policy level, especially in the light of the current Italian Presidency of the Council of the EU, from a legal and a Member State specific perspective.
Speakers of the conference included representatives of the Italian Navy, the EU Border Agency Frontex, UNHCR, the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe, ECRE and CIR.
— ECRE (@ecre) October 28, 2014
The conference focus and interventions were particularly timely in light of the launch of the Frontex mission ‘Triton’. As a result, the event received high media coverage, with statements being published in The Guardian as well as broadcasted by the BBC.