PRESS STATEMENT - 17 October 1999

European Council of Refugees and Exiles







ECRE welcomes the commitment to a "full and inclusive application of the Refugee Convention".

We remain concerned that measures to control migration could undermine the Council’s positive commitment to "the absolute right to seek asylum".

The agenda for a common EU asylum policy has been shaped. We will remain vigilant to ensure that this common policy offers the highest standards of protection to refugees.


The European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), an organisation representing 70 refugee protection agencies across Europe, broadly welcomes the Conclusions of the Tampere European Council. The organisation is encouraged by the positive tone of the Council’s Conclusions with regard to the right to asylum and by the impetus given to the development of harmonised asylum policies with "guarantees to those who seek protection in or access to the European Union".

Peer Baneke, General-Secretary of ECRE said "If the Conclusions are implemented in the spirit in which they seem to have been written, we believe that, in many respects, this would be a step away from Fortress Europe".

Nick Hardwick, chairman of ECRE said " The key is in the implementation of commitments. The best asylum policy in the world is no use unless refugees can access the territory.

For interviews and further information on Sunday please contact ECRE’s General Secretary, Peer Baneke on + 44 7808 295613 or ECRE’s EU Representative, Friso Roscam Abbing on Sunday: + 32 75251666

Monday please contact ECRE’s London office on + 44 171 7295152 ext 207 and ECRE’s Brussels office on + 32 2 5145939