A report launched this week by the Asylum Information Database (AIDA), managed by ECRE, documents the limited and fragmented application of admissibility and safe country concepts in 20 European countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Germany, Spain, France, Greece, Croatia, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Serbia and Turkey.
In the implementation of their international obligations, European and EU states have devised sophisticated asylum systems based on complex procedural tools. In some cases, tools are designed and used for the purpose of avoiding responsibility for refugees, because they allow claims to be dismissed as inadmissible before looking at the substance of the claim. The recent EU-Turkey deal and the European Commission’s proposal for harmonised asylum procedures under an Asylum Procedures Regulation, for instance, revolve around concepts such as “safe third country” and “first country of asylum”.
“The latest reform of the Common European Asylum System brings the concepts of admissibility, responsibility and safety to the forefront of European asylum procedures, by introducing an obligation on Member States to deem applications inadmissible on the basis of ‘first country of asylum’ and ‘safe third country’ grounds”, says Minos Mouzourakis, AIDA Coordinator. “Yet such a move seems ill-fitted in the absence of evidence-based knowledge on the use and interpretation of these concepts throughout the continent.”
The report also discusses the implementation of the Dublin Regulation and the emergency relocation scheme, two instruments regulating the allocation of asylum responsibility within the EU.
- Asylum Information Database (AIDA), Press Release: Admissibility, responsibility and safety in European asylum procedures, 7 September 2016