EU member states often use speedy (accelerated) asylum procedures to examine asylum claims that are deemed manifestly unfounded. Speedy asylum procedures should generally be considered to be in the interest of the asylum applicant and the state. Accelerated procedures have however been criticised for not being fair and resulting in inaccurate decisions. EU legislation allows the use of an accelerated asylum procedure in any asylum case and does not set minimum time limits for (certain stages) of asylum procedures. This does mean however that EU member states are completely free to design speedy asylum procedures. This article argues that the EU right to an effective remedy, laid down in article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (the Charter), and the principle of effectiveness limit member states' discretion to set time limits for asylum procedures. It is contended that EU law is violated if the speed of the proceedings undermines the effectiveness of the EU prohibition of refoulement and/or the right to asylum, guaranteed by articles 18 and 19 of the Charter. Furthermore, short time limits are contrary to EU law if they render the exercise of the EU right to an effective remedy, or other procedural rights guaranteed by the Asylum Procedures Directive, impossible or excessively difficult. This is based on an analysis of EU legislation, the case law of the Court of Justice, and sources of inspiration of EU fundamental rights, in particular, the case law of the European Court of Human Rights. It is shown that time limits in asylum procedures should be reasonable and proportionate in general as well as in the individual asylum case. This article explores which factors should be taken into account when assessing time limits in the light of the EU right to an effective remedy and the principle of effectiveness in a particular case. © The Author (2014). Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.