Author: Gábor Gyulai
Hungarian Helsinki Committee, Budapest, 2007
In recent years, country information (COI) has become one of the main issues on the European asylum agenda, partly as a result of the spectacular advancement of information technologies. Far from its supplementary role in the nineties, its key importance as being always-available objective evidence is widely recognised by all actors in this field. The UNHCR, non-governmental organisations and the judiciary have elaborated guidelines summarising main quality standards and requirements related to COI, while EU member states are currently in the process of finalising their guidance document. In addition,
professional standards have gradually taken root in national and community asylum legislation as well as in jurisprudence in the Union.
As the first such trans-national initiative, this study aims to draw a complex picture of how substantive quality standards of researching and assessing COI appear in the form of legal requirements within the present system, either as binding legal provisions or guiding judicial practice. As such, the study intends to provide a tool and a set of concrete examples for policy- and law-makers, advocates, judges and trainers active in this field.
The four standards selected to determine the construction of the present report have been established in the practice of the Austrian Centre for Country of Origin and Asylum Research and Documentation (ACCORD) and the Europe-wide “COI Network”.
Research for this publication was carried out in the framework of the “COI Network III – Training, Master Class, Good Practice” project, co-funded by the European Refugee Fund Community Action 2005. The views expressed in this publication are those of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee and do not necessarily reflect the views of researchers who contributed to this study, other project partners, the European Refugee Fund or the European Union.
Country Information in Asylum Procedures – Quality as a Legal Requirement in the EU – English version
Country Information in Asylum Procedures – Quality as a Legal Requirement in the EU – Russian version