The implementation of the Dublin III Regulation continues to be fraught by inefficiency and questionable compliance with legal standards, according to statistics on 15 European countries published by AIDA, managed by ECRE.

Germany and France continue to be the main operators of the Dublin system in Europe. They were the top two senders of requests received by Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and Switzerland. France was also by far the top sender of requests to Spain and Hungary, while Germany issued the overwhelming majority of requests to Greece.

Germany issued 25,483 requests and implemented 4,215 transfers in the first half of 2019. This means that more than four out of five Dublin procedures initiated by the authorities results in no transfer.

The majority of Dublin procedures initiated so far in 2019 were based on “take back” requests. By way of exception, a significant percentage of requests issued by Greece and Bulgaria concerned family reunification.

Spain, one of the main recipients of incoming Dublin requests this year (7,577), has mainly been requested by other countries to “take charge” of asylum seekers, however. Most requests were based on the irregular entry criterion. A total of 170 transfers to Spain were implemented, mainly from France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Norway.

Most European countries have resumed Dublin procedures to Greece as of 2019. During the first half of the year, Greece received 4,742 incoming requests from 25 countries. Nearly 75% of those requests were sent by Germany. A total of nine transfers were carried out, of which seven by Germany, one by Poland and one by Switzerland.

Hungary continues to receive Dublin requests from other countries, despite widely documented human rights violations and deficiencies in its asylum system, leading to several infringement proceedings from the European Commission. It received a total of 711 incoming requests in the first half of 2019, over half of which came from France. Zero transfers to Hungary have been implemented so far this year.

Dublin procedures are not mandatory. Article 17(1) of the Dublin Regulation, the so-called “sovereignty clause”, allows Member States to undertake responsibility for an asylum claim at any time. However, the clause was used in 17 cases by Malta, four cases by Romania and Austria, and in one case by Spain. It was not used at all by Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovenia, Poland, Portugal and Estonia.

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*This information was first published by AIDA, managed by ECRE.


Photo: (CC) AIDA, 2019

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