Under the Common European Asylum System (CEAS), persons, regardless of the Member State in which their application for international protection is made, should be offered an equivalent level of treatment as regards reception conditions. The Reception Conditions Directive1 has laid down minimum standards for the reception of applicants and the Recast Reception Conditions Directive2 (hereafter “the Recast”) further aims to ensure “adequate and comparable reception conditions throughout the EU”. However, (Member) States report difficulties to ensure this in practice.
The organisation of reception facilities differs greatly amongst (Member) States. Differences exist in the type of facilities and in the actors involved in the provision of reception. Such differences are not only apparent between (Member) States but also occur within some (Member) States at sub-state level. Unequal treatment between and within (Member) States may result, in some cases, in sub-standard reception conditions.
In view of the wide differences in the organisation of reception facilities, it is of pivotal importance that reception conditions and (minimum) quality standards are consistently maintained in all facilities within and across (Member) States, also in times of pressure. Coordination, implementation and (external) control mechanisms could be further developed as a tool to ensure homogeneity and to allow for the recognition and sharing of good practices.