6 November 2015

The updated AIDA report on Bulgaria informs about worrying deteriorating trends in the Bulgarian asylum system: the duration of the asylum procedure has increased from an average of three months to six or more months and the National State Agency for Refugees (SAR) has failed to provide interpretation services during the asylum procedure.

Even though there has been an increase in the number of asylum applications in the country (12,738 until September 2015 compared to a total of 11,081 in 2014), Bulgaria remains prevalently a country of transit. Access to the territory continues to be a concerning issue, with reports of push-backs and violence by the border police, culminating in the killing of an Afghan young man on 16 October 2015.

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This article appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin of 6 November 2015. You can subscribe to the Weekly Bulletin here.