Ireland: Planned opt-in to recast Reception Conditions Directive

On 21 November 2017, the Irish Minister for Justice and Equality announced that Ireland will be opting into the recast Reception Conditions Directive as part of measures to comply with its Supreme Court ruling of 30 May 2017 which condemned the prohibition on asylum seekers’ access to employment.

This will be the first time when EU reception requirements become binding on Ireland; contrary to the United Kingdom, it has so far opted out of both the 2003 Directive and its 2013 recast. EU law obliges Member States to grant asylum seekers access to the labour market no later than 9 months after lodging a claim. While different countries have opted for variable standards – ranging from immediate access to a 9-month waiting period – recent announcements indicate that a 9-month time limit will be introduced in Irish law, coupled with sectoral restrictions on employment opportunities for asylum seekers.

In addition, Ireland will have to abide by a range of recast Reception Conditions Directive standards, including accommodation guaranteeing an adequate standard of living, as well as specified grounds for detention. Under the Directive, Ireland will also have to refrain from detaining asylum seekers in prisons as a rule.


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The Asylum Information Database (AIDA) is a database managed by the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), containing information on asylum procedures, reception conditions, detenti