ECRE has published a report providing an overview of developments in legislation, policy and practice relating to the application of the Dublin III Regulation, based on current practice, case law and up-to-date statistics from 21 European countries.

Germany and France continued to spearhead the Dublin system. In 2018, the two Member States issued 54,910 and 45,760 outgoing Dublin requests respectively. These figures indicate that nearly one in three asylum seekers in Germany and France were subject to a Dublin procedure. However, more than four out of five Dublin procedures in these countries failed to meet their aim, as they did not result in a transfer. Italy and Spain were the main net recipients of Dublin procedures in 2018, while Sweden and Greece also had significantly higher incoming requests than outgoing requests.

Available figures from 2018 point to a prevalence of “take back” Dublin procedures in most countries, meaning that the majority of people placed in a Dublin procedure had already lodged an asylum application in a European Union Member State. “Take back” cases can entail lower safeguards on matters such as the right to appeal a transfer – this week, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that, as a rule, an asylum seeker cannot challenge the correct application of the responsibility criteria in a “take back” procedure.

The report also analyses the Dublin system’s compliance with human rights. The right to family life continues to be a marginal component of Dublin procedures: family and humanitarian clause requests sent by Dublin Units remain small in number and are consistently met with restrictive positions from the receiving countries’ side. In addition, the protection of asylum seekers from refoulement to countries unable to guarantee basic reception, fair refugee status determination or protection from chain refoulement, is too readily pushed to the courts by policy choices to shy away from suspension of transfers and to turn a blind eye to violations of asylum standards, however severe or deliberate. Official positions against transfers have been taken by a few countries in respect of Greece and Hungary, but not Italy or Bulgaria.

AIDA: This information was first published by AIDA.*


This article appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin . You can subscribe to the Weekly Bulletin here.