On 25 October 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that the expiry of the six-month period to carry out transfers under the Dublin III Regulation automatically leaves the responsibility for the asylum application with the requesting Member State. Therefore, an applicant for international protection can rely on the expiry of that period to challenge a transfer and must have access to an effective remedy for that purpose.

The main proceeding concerned Ms Shiri, an Iranian national who applied for international protection in Austria where it was decided that Bulgaria was the Member State responsible for her application. Bulgaria agreed with the take back request issued by Austria. However, Ms Shiri brought a challenge before the Austrian courts arguing that Austria had become the Member State responsible for her asylum application since the transfer was not carried out within the six-month period from the acceptance of that request, as required under the Dublin III Regulation.

The Court of Justice of the European Union found that, after the expiry of the six-month period, responsibility is transferred automatically to the requesting Member State (in this case, Austria), without the need of any reaction from the part of the requested Member State (in this case, Bulgaria). This is consistent with the objectives of the Dublin III Regulation, particularly the rapid processing of applications for international protection.

The CJEU also ruled that the Member State that became responsible for the application must take, on their own initiative, the necessary measures to acknowledge that responsibility and to initiate the examination of the application for international protection.


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Photo: (cc) Tamás Mészáros, December 2009