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Refugee & Asylum Seeker Law Research Guide: European Union

Asylum Information Database (AIDA)

The Asylum Information Database (AIDA) is managed by the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE). It contains information on asylum procedures, reception conditions, detention and content of international protection across 23 countries. This includes 20 European Union (EU) Member States. The goal of the database is to contribute to the improvement of asylum policies and practices in Europe and the situation of asylum seekers by providing all relevant actors with appropriate tools and information to support their advocacy and litigation efforts, both at the national and European level. These objectives are carried out by AIDA through:

Country Reports: these national reports document asylum procedures, reception conditions, detention and content of international protection in 23 countries.

Comparator: used to compare legal frameworks and practice between the countries covered by the database in relation to the core themes of asylum procedure, reception, detention, and content of protection. 

Comparative Thematic Reports on topics such as reception, asylum procedures, content of protection, vulnerability, detention, and access to the territory and registration.

UNHCR Tools

The UNHCR Analysis of the monthly asylum trends provides up to date information on  asylum applications lodged in selected countries in Europe.

UNHCR Statistics on refugees and asylum-seekers in the Northern Europe region. These Factsheets provide the latest overviews of data concerning asylum-seekers, refugees and stateless persons in the region. The fact sheets allow for understanding and comparing of the numbers of arrivals, resettlement cases, the percentage and total number of people granted protection, as well as arrivals over the last three years in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden.

The UNHCR Resettlement Handbook Country chapters include Chapters from the following EU countries, and Iceland and Norway:

EU Newsfeed from AIDA

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EU Legislation

The EU Common European Asylum System (CEAS) comprises a set of legislative instruments regulating the status of international protection, temporary protection, asylum procedures and reception conditions, as well as the criteria and mechanisms for allocating responsibility for asylum seekers. 

Links to all legislative instruments (regularly updated) are available on AIDA's Asylum Seeker Legislation webpage. 

The AIDA website also includes Legal Briefings: short papers that identify and analyse key issues in EU asylum law and policy and identify potential protection gaps in the asylum acquis.

Case Law / Jurisprudence

European refugee and asylum seeker cases can be heard in national courts, and in the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).

AIDA's Jurisprudence webpage links to the following case law databases:

  • The European Database of Asylum Law (EDAL) is an online database managed by the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE). It consists of a compilation of summaries of refugee and asylum case law from the national courts of 22 European states, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). The summaries are published in English and in the relevant state’s national language.
  • European Court on Human Rights, Case Law Database

  • Court of Justice of the European Union, Case Law Database

Civil Society Reports

Links to reports from many civil society organisations are available on AIDA's Civil Society Comparative Reports webpage. 

EU Institutions and Agencies Reports

The European Asylum Support Office (EASO) publishes:

The European Resettlement Network provides historical and current information on the various steps towards the current European Union resettlement policy.

The European Commission's European Migration Network (EMN)  provides up-to-date, objective, reliable and comparable information on migration and asylum with a view to supporting policymaking in the European Union. EMN publishes:

  • Annual Reports on Migration and Asylum - since 2015. These reports outline the most significant political and legislative developments and debates in Member States and Norway and the European Union in the year.
  • Country Fact Sheets - succinct summaries of the main developments in the year in all Member States and Norway. An overview of the most recent migration and international protection-related statistics is presented.

  • EMN Studies - a comparative analysis of topics related to migration and asylum in the EU. 

Other Research Guides

Globalex: 'Researching the Legal Aspects of Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Australia, Canada, United Kingdom and the European Union' by Colin Fong (open access) - last updated in 2013.