Source description last updated: 23 June 2021
In brief: The European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), headquartered in Brussels, is an umbrella organisation of European NGOs seeking to protect and advance the rights of refugees, asylum seekers, and displaced persons.
Coverage on
Country Reports (Periodical Report/Special or Analytical Report), Analyses (Special or Analytical Report) and Position Papers (Expert Opinion or Position)
Covered quarterly on, for countries of priorities A-E (all available countries).
“ECRE’s mission is to protect and advance the rights of refugees, asylum-seekers and other forcibly displaced persons in Europe and in Europe’s external policies.” (ECRE website: Our work, undated)
“Working together with our members and partners to inform and persuade European authorities and the public, we monitor and denounce human rights violations while proposing and promoting fair and effective durable solutions. We accomplish our mission through research, advocacy and the sharing of knowledge and expertise.
ECRE strives for a Europe that protects refugees, asylum seekers and displaced persons with dignity and respect.” (ECRE website: Mission Statement, undated)
ECRE’s member organisations “range from large INGOs with global presence to small organisations of dedicated activists. Members’ work covers the full circle of displacement from zones of conflict, to the dangerous routes and arrival in Europe, to long-term inclusion in European societies, with their activities including humanitarian relief, social service provision, legal assistance, litigation, monitoring policy and law, advocacy and campaigning.
ECRE’s secretariat in Brussels informs, supports and works with the membership through joint events, the Annual General Conference, briefings to members and management of specialist working groups.” (ECRE website: Our work, undated)
ECRE’s work encompasses four main areas of activity: legal support and strategic litigation, research and documentation, advocacy and communication (ECRE website: Our work, undated).
ECRE receives funding from philanthropic foundations, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the several EU funds, programmes and agencies (ECRE website: Finance, undated). For a full list of sources of funding see here:
Moreover, “ECRE’s members contribute to its funding through the payment of membership fees” (ECRE website: Finance, undated).

As set out in the ECRE Strategic Plan for 2020-2022, the organisation’s objective is to “[b]ring in revenue of at least EUR 1.6 million/year” and to “[e]stablish a reserve fund of EUR 150,000 by 2022”. (ECRE: Strategic Plan 2020-2022, undated, p. 13)

Scope of reporting:
Geographic focus: Europe including non-EU countries (Some publications may contain background information on the situation in non-European countries of origins of refugees/asylum seekers).

Thematic focus: human rights situation of refugees, asylum seekers and displaced persons (asylum legislation and procedures, reception conditions, detention, etc.)
“ECRE provides thorough and authoritative analysis of EU asylum law with a particular focus on the implementation and reform of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS). […]

This work includes ECRE’s management of the Asylum Information Database (AIDA) which provides detailed comparative analysis of asylum systems in 23 countries. Through AIDA, ECRE provides up- to- date information on (a) asylum procedures, (b) reception conditions, (c) detention and (d) content of international protection in European countries. AIDA consists of detailed country reports, comparative reports, fact-finding visits investigating important protection gaps, and legal briefings providing focused analysis of key issues of asylum law and policy.” (ECRE website: Our work, undated)
Country reports document asylum procedures, reception conditions, detention and other issues relating to international protection (AIDA website: About AIDA, undated). They are primarily based on desk research in public sources and are updated on a regular basis (see, for example, ASGI - Association for Legal Studies on Immigration/ECRE: Country Report: Italy; 2020 Update, 3 June 2021 and Accem/ECRE: Country Report: Spain; 2020 Update, 25 March 2021) but may also contain information provided by oral sources (Accem/ECRE: Country Report: Spain; 2017 Update, 15 March 2018).
Fact-finding mission reports contain information and data gained from interviews and observations by teams of researchers during site visits, which are supplemented by desk research and information gathered from other sources (see, for example, ECRE: Access to asylum and detention at France’s borders, June 2018, p. 6)

ECRE manages the European Database of Asylum Law (EDAL), “an online database compiling summaries of asylum case law from the courts of 22 European states, the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).” (ECRE website: Our work, undated)

Languages of publications:
English and French
Further reading / links:
Asylum Information Database

ELENA Legal Network
All links accessed 23 June 2021


Methodological note:'s source descriptions contain background information on an organisation’s mission & objective, funding and reporting methodology, as well as on how we cover the source. The descriptions were prepared after researching publicly accessible information within time constraints. Most information contained in a source description was taken from the source itself. The aim is to provide a brief introduction to the sources covered regularly, offering information on relevant aspects in one place in a systematic manner.