Conference on Recent Developments in European and International Asylum Policy and Law
Nebahat Albayrak, (former) minister for aliens’ affairs of the Netherlands, opened the conference on which this volume is based. She argued that asylum systems within the European Union have not yet been sufficiently harmonised, nor are the regulations, the policies or the methods of implementation the same. She favours a continued ‘top down’ harmonisation, by aligning the different asylum systems further on the basis of [European] legislation. In addition, practical cooperation could stimulate ‘bottom up’ harmonisation, for instance, by exchanging knowledge, best practices and skills. Also, the relationship with third countries is crucial to the European asylum policy. The Dutch government focused on measures to promote sound administration and security. She concluded by posing the following questions to the conference: What more can we do so that harmonising the European asylum policy becomes a reality? Which concrete obstacles have to be overcome? How can we realise that we actually protect the people for whom the asylum policy is intended?