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Key EU terms: N

22 February 2010
by Ina Dimireva -- last modified 22 February 2010

A list of key EU legal terminology: N


New Transatlantic Agenda

Facilitates cooperation between the United States and the European Union.

Nice Treaty

Signed by the 15 EU Member States in February 2001, the Treaty of Nice notably made the European Parliament a co-legislator on asylum policy and judicial cooperation in civil matters. This treaty has not yet come into force.


As long as someone is legally residing in the EU, the only grounds for expelling them should be if they are a threat to national security, public health or public policy.

Non-military management of crisis situations

The EU is currently creating a civilian peacekeeping force to help manage crisis situations and control conflicts outside the EU.


The key principle of international refugee law, which requires that no State shall return a refugee in any manner to a country where his or her life or freedom may be endangered. The principle also encompasses non-rejection at the frontier. Its provision is contained in Article 33 of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and constitutes the legal basis for States' obligation to provide international protection to those in need of it. Article 33(1) reads as follows: 'No Contracting State shall expel or return (refouler) a refugee in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion'. This principle was endorsed at the Tampere European Council in October 1999 in paragraph 13 of the conclusions. Article 3 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, in the light of the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights and Article 3 of the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane and Degrading Treatment or Punishment, are also considered as bases for 'non-refoulement' obligations.

Source: European Commission - Justice and Home Affairs

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