ENS’s advocacy to get statelessness on the EU agenda


Sustained advocacy efforts lead to important steps forward in mainstreaming protections for stateless people across EU asylum and migration law and policy.

Spain, EU

Over the past 18 months, ENS has been conducting extensive advocacy towards the Spanish Presidency of the EU to secure their commitment to addressing statelessness in Europe. We have held multiple bilateral meetings with Spanish officials, engaging Spain’s Ambassador to the EU at our Brussels event last year and high-level representatives from the Spanish government at our conference in Madrid earlier this year.

Spain advocacy

This advocacy work has contributed to Spain placing statelessness on the agenda of its EU Presidency, including dedicated discussion at a meeting of the European Council's Asylum Working Party in Brussels earlier this month. We have briefed Member States in the margins of this meeting, drawing on our extensive analysis and materials.  

This follows our sustained work towards the European Parliament and with individual MEPs over the last few years which has helped secure statelessness-related amendments in the European Parliament's position on several instruments currently under negotiation as part of the EU Pact on Migration and Asylum. Back in January 2021 we published our initial analysis of the different Pact instruments, which put forward recommendations to mainstream a harmonised approach to ensuring full respect for the rights of stateless people across EU asylum and migration law and policy. Our updated analysis published in June of this year assesses progress to mainstream statelessness in the Pact instruments , as well as highlighting our recommendations and further amendments required as part of ongoing negotiations.

The focus now remains to try to ensure that important safeguards for stateless refugees are maintained during trilogue negotiations between the European Parliament, Council, and Commission. While we share the concerns of others about the wider implications of the Pact for the fundamental rights of refugees, a promising foundation has been laid for potential progress on addressing statelessness. This would correct what has for far too long been a significant blind spot in the Common European Asylum System.

Related topics