405 The Situation of Refugees and Refugee Law in the Baltic Countries * HANSTHOOLEN UNHCR, Geneva, Switzerland Whatever the turmoil in which the European refugee regime finds itself at the moment, there is no doubt that the principles laid down in the 1951 UN Convention on the Status of Refugees remain the cornerstone. The Council of Europe's legal and political actions, the Schengen Agreement, the Dublin Convention and the most recent proposals for a common asylum policy of the European Union all continue to incorporate the key concepts of (or specifically refer to) the Geneva Convention. One could say that the Western European countries, including the Nordic countries, have a bewildering variety of asylum procedures that in general produce a result that - taking into account the institutional differences - is surprisingly similar. (Even where recognition rates under the 1951 Convention are sometimes rather different, that difference is often made up for in the category of so-called 'humanitarian permits'. I will not go in detail here on the different ways in which the Convention has been implemented in those countries.) In the Central and Eastern European countries the situation is more difficult to assess as the building up
Nordic Journal of International Law – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1995
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