22 May 2015

The latest AIDA report on Sweden provides information on a fast-track procedure for applications made by Syrian and Eritrean nationals, and, in some cases, Somali nationals. In 2014, the Swedish Migration Agency (previously known as the Swedish Migration Board) processed 58% of Sweden’s entire asylum caseload and rapidly granted international protection under this rapid procedure. Sweden has remained one of the main destinations for asylum seekers in the EU, receiving a total 81,301 applications, over 30,000 of which were made by Syrians.

At the same time, applications from persons originating from Western Balkan countries, as well as Mongolia, are treated as manifestly unfounded claims and processed under the accelerated procedure. Under this procedure, Sweden examines applications within three months, with a view to allowing for the speedy expulsion of rejected asylum seekers and to making more accommodation places available to new arrivals.

However, due to the fast-tracking of nationalities having well-founded or manifestly unfounded claims in Sweden, applications from other nationalities are often put on temporary hold by the Migration Agency and face considerable delays, the report notes.

Finally, the Migration Agency has taken a position on the Tarakhel v Switzerlandruling of the European Court of Human Rights, which found, in November 2014, that a Member State seeking to transfer an asylum seeker to another EU country under the Dublin Regulation must obtain guarantees from the receiving country that the asylum seeker will have adequate reception conditions upon transfer. The Appeal Court has recently referred a case to the Court of Justice of the European Union on the issue of determining at what stage in the procedure the sending Member State must obtain such guarantees from the receiving country for a Dublin transfer.

A different reference by the Appeal Court seeks to clarify whether the new provision of the Dublin Regulation on procedural guarantees allows an asylum seeker to challenge the criteria determining the Member State responsible for the application, when that Member State has agreed to receive him or her.

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This article originally appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin of 22 May 2015. You can subscribe to the Weekly Bulletin here.