22 May 2015
An updated AIDA report on Croatia refers to a December 2014 amendment to the country’s Law on Administrative Disputes, which introduces the possibility of a second appeal in the asylum procedure. Asylum seekers may now appeal against a decision of the Administrative Court before the High Administrative Court. This onward appeal has suspensive effect, thus allowing applicants to remain on Croatian territory until the High Administrative Court delivers its decision. However, this is likely to be amended by the upcoming Law on International and Temporary Protection, expected in the second half of 2015, which will transpose the Asylum Procedures Directive and the Reception Conditions Directive into Croatian legislation.
At the same time, the report notes, lawyers providing free legal assistance for appeals before the Administrative Courts have recently encountered problems regarding their remuneration.
However, according to the report, written by the Croatian Law Centre, there has been no case, or available information to date, on how the appeal before the High Administrative Court is handled in practice, or on what forms of accommodation and other benefits are available to asylum seekers during that appeal.
Croatia witnessed a significant drop in asylum applications, from 1,089 in 2013 to only 453 in 2014, out of which 54 were made by Syrian nationals, 18 by Afghan, 10 by Somali and 4 by Eritrean nationals. Nevertheless, its recognition rate has stayed at approximately 11%.