A newly released ECRE report shows significant impact of three asylum-related cases from the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) and of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights on the national asylum policies of eight Member States.

The report included seven Member States; Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, the UK and Italy and showed how  judgments on the determination of LGBTI asylum applications: X.Y.Z and A.B.C, and detention conditions of persons subject to Dublin transfers: Cimade and Gisti, affected overall national legislation – often leading to a shift in national practices and internal guidance, and sometimes even to formal legislative changes.

While the report establishes an overall influence from EU to national level the findings also reflect a more complex reality. While the judgements were clarifying certain provisions, they left others unclear and often with a wide margin of interpretation from national judiciaries. As for the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, the study found that State authorities often preferred to rely on more established instruments, such as the European Convention on Human Rights, and that additional time and training were necessary to resolve this issue.

The report therefor recommends that future questions addressed to the Court on the interpretation of EU law should be framed to ensure clarity. Additionally, domestic asylum case-law and national internal guidance should be available online to ensure harmonization of the interpretation between Member States and ensure transparency. The report further recommends that national legislation and practices should at all times be in line with EU Charter provisions; national authorities should proactively apply and rely on EU Charter provisions in order to make it a “real living instrument”.