25 September 2015
On 23 September 2015, the European Commission sent formal notice to 19 Member States for failure to comply with EU law in the area of migration and asylum. These infringement decisions come as a follow-up to the second implementation package of the European agenda on Migration in the Commission’s efforts to ensure the implementation of the European legislation in this area of policy.
As the Migration and Home Affairs Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos stated, “In Europe everyone must uphold the commonly agreed standards, in the way we receive asylum seekers. These standards need to be fully implemented and respected, while always respecting the dignity and human rights of the applicants.”
According to the Commission, Bulgaria and Spain failed to communicate national measures to transpose the recast Qualifications Directive, which harmonises minimum standards for the qualification of third-country nationals or stateless persons as beneficiaries of international protection. What is more, it highlighted that 18 member states have failed to establish common procedures for granting and withdrawing international protection, as foreseen in the recast Asylum Procedures Directive.
It also noted that another 19 member states haven’t yet transposed common rules for the reception conditions of asylum seekers, which include access to housing, food, healthcare and employment (recast Reception Conditions Directive). The Commission also pointed out the serious deficiencies in the Greek asylum system, particularly with respect to the material reception conditions of vulnerable persons and persons with special needs.
Therefore, the Commission took the first step of an infringement procedure, sending Letters of Formal Notice to the 40 Member States concerned. The latter have two months to reply to the letter of formal notice and if they fail to answer satisfactorily they could face court proceedings and fines.
 Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Germany, Estonia, Greece, Spain, France, Hungary, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Slovenia
 Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Germany, Estonia, Greece, Spain, France, Hungary, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Slovenia.
This article appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin of 25 September 2015. You can subscribe to the Weekly Bulletin here.