Published: 1 July 2022
EUAA releases update of its 'Country Guidance: Iraq'
The European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA) has published a new update of the 'Country Guidance: Iraq'. Based on recent information on the situation in the country, it aims to assist national decision-makers in the analysis of the criteria for qualification for international protection, in accordance with EU legislation and EUAA guidance.
According to the EUAA’s just-published Asylum Report 2022, in 2021, Iraq was the third country of origin in terms of the number of applications for international protection lodged in the EU+. Indeed, Iraqis lodged close to 30 490 applications in 2021, a 53 % increase compared to 2020.
The EUAA Country Guidance: Iraq reflects the joint EU+ position on international protection needs of the most encountered profiles of applicants from Iraq. While it does not replace the individual assessment required in each case, the Country Guidance aims to ensure that similar cases are treated and decided on in a similar way, and in accordance with applicable international and EU law.
While not a full review, the update is broad in scope. It focuses on subsidiary protection under Article 15(c) of the Qualification Directive and on the potential applicability of internal protection alternative with regard to Baghdad, Basrah, and Sulaymaniyah. It also updates the analysis and guidance on the qualification for refugee status of several specific profiles.
The ‘Country Guidance: Iraq’ is the third country guidance document published under the new mandate of the Agency following the recent update of the ‘Country Guidance: Afghanistan’ (April 2022) and the new ‘Country Guidance: Somalia’ (June 2022). In accordance with Article 11 of the EUAA Regulation, Member States have an obligation to take into account the guidance notes and common analysis when examining applications for international protection, without prejudice to their competence for deciding on individual applications.