The Asylum Information Database (AIDA) is a database containing information on asylum procedures, reception conditions and detention across 20 countries. This includes 17 European Union (EU) Member States (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Germany, Spain, France, Greece, Croatia, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, United Kingdom) and 3 non-EU countries (Switzerland, Serbia, Turkey).
AIDA started as a project (September 2012 – December 2015) of the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), in partnership with Forum Réfugiés-Cosi, the Hungarian Helsinki Committee and the Irish Refugee Council, and is now developing into a core research and documentation activity of ECRE. The overall 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 the following activities:
- Country reports
AIDA contains national reports documenting asylum procedures, reception conditions and detention in 20 countries. The first 14 country reports were published in July 2013 during the first phase of the project (September 2012 – December 2013) and have been regularly updated and improved, while 2 additional Member States and 2 non-EU countries were added to the database in 2014 and 2015 respectively, during the project’s second phase (January 2014 – December 2015). The last update of 18 country reports was completed in December 2015, while two additional countries were included in March and April 2016.
- Comparative reports
AIDA comparative reports provide a thorough comparative analysis of practice relating to the implementation of asylum standards across the countries covered by the database, in addition to an overview of statistical asylum trends and a discussion of key developments in asylum and migration policies in Europe. Annual reports were published in 2013, 2014 and 2015. This year, AIDA comparative reports are published in the form of thematic updates, focusing on the individual themes covered by the database. Thematic reports on reception and asylum procedures were published in March and September 2016 respectively.
The Comparator allows users to compare legal frameworks and practice between the countries covered by the database in relation to the core themes covered: asylum procedure, reception, detention, and soon content of protection. The different sections of the Comparator define key concepts of the EU asylum acquis and outline their implementation in practice.
- Fact-finding visits
AIDA includes the development of fact-finding visits to further investigate important protection gaps established through the country reports, and a methodological framework for such missions. The first fact-finding visit was conducted in December 2014 in Greece and focussed on the reception conditions in the First Reception Centre of Fylakio. A second fact-finding visit in Hungary was conducted in September-October 2015, focusing on the Röszke transit zone at the Serbian border and on issues relating to asylum detention and the criminalisation of irregular entry. A third fact-finding visit was conducted in Austria in early December 2015, looking at registration and the unavailability of accommodation as barriers to access the asylum procedure. A fourth fact-finding visit took place in Croatia at the end of November 2016, to document developments relating to access to the territory and the treatment of Dublin returnees.
- Legal briefings
Legal briefings aim to bridge AIDA research with evidence-based legal reasoning and advocacy. With the assistance of information gathered from country reports, these short papers identify and analyse key issues in EU asylum law and policy and identify potential protection gaps in the asylum acquis. Legal briefings so far cover: (1) Dublin detention; (2) asylum statistics; (3) safe countries of origin; (4) procedural rights in detention; (5) age assessment of unaccompanied children; (6) residence permits for beneficiaries of international protection; (7) the length of asylum procedures; and (8) travel documents for beneficiaries of international protection.
The content of the country reports is the responsibility of their respective authors. Please contact the authors directly for questions on the reports' content.
For more information on the database, please contact the European Council on Refugees and Exiles.
- Minos Mouzourakis, AIDA Coordinator
- Ruben Fierens, AIDA Legal Officer
- Kris Pollet, Senior Legal and Policy Officer
Tel: +32 2 234 3800
The Asylum Information Database is funded by the European Programme for Integration and Migration (EPIM), a collaborative initiative by the Network of European Foundations, and the European Union's Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) The contents of the database are the sole responsibility of ECRE and the national experts and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of EPIM or the European Commission.