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Transnational advisory and assistance network for asylum seekers under a Dublin process Final report POLAND

Transnational advisory and assistance network for asylum seekers under a Dublin process

Final report

POLAND NETHERLANDS GERMANY BELGIUM CZECH REPUBLIC SLOVAKIA HUNGARY FRANCE SERBIA F.Y.R. ALBANIA G
POLAND
NETHERLANDS
GERMANY
BELGIUM
CZECH
REPUBLIC
SLOVAKIA
HUNGARY
FRANCE
SERBIA
F.Y.R.
ALBANIA
G

December 2009 – May 2011

REPUBLIC SLOVAKIA HUNGARY FRANCE SERBIA F.Y.R. ALBANIA G December 2009 – May 2011 E U R

E U R O P E A N REFUGEE FUND

INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

INTRODUCTION

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3

GENERAL

FRAMEWORK

 

4

the Dublin Regulation, the European stakes and the project’s goals

 

CHAPTER

1

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5

The overall context of the Dublin Regulation

 

I.General presentation I.1. Context of the Dublin Regulation: principles, criteria and mechanisms

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I.1.1.The two mechanisms to determine the responsible state: take charge and take back I.1.2. The criteria for determining the responsible state I.1.3. Different procedural deadlines depending on the mechanism I.1.4. Asylum seeker transfer conditions

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5

5

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6

8

10

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II.

Application report : The European Situation

 

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11

II.1. Information for asylum seekers under the Dublin procedure II.2. Application of the sovereignity and humanitarian clauses II.3. Rights and reception conditions of asylum seekers II.4. Detention of asylum seekers under the Dublin regulation II.5. Right to an effective remedy against transfer decisions II.6. Access to the asylum application procedure after transfer

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11

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12

15

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19

III. Revision of the Dublin II regulation III.1. Weakness of the Dublin system III.2. State of progress of negotiations

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III.2.1. Somewhat laborious discussions III.2.2. M.S.S. v. Belgium and Greece: a discussion catalyst?

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19

20

20

22

CHAPTER

2

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25

The transnational Dublin project

 

I. Why such a project?

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25

II.

General presentation

of the project

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25

NATIONAL

REPORTS

 

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30

from partner organizations on project implementation

 

Austria ( Asyl in Not)

 

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31

Belgium (Flemish Refugee Action) France (Forum réfugiés and France terre d’asile) Hungary (Hungarian Helsinki Committee)

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37

43

53

Ireland (Irish Refugee

Council)

 

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62

Italy (Italian Refugee Council)

 

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68

Poland (Helsinki

 

Rights)

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73

Romania (Jesuit

Spain (Comisión

Foundation for Human Refugee Service)

Española de Ayuda al

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Refugiado)

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81

84

Switzerland

(Swiss

Refugee

Council)

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89

CONCLUSION AND GENERAL

 

RECOMMENDATIONS

 

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94

ANNEX

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99

 

1 /

Partner organizations’ presentation

 

100

2 / Individual follow-up file (automatic form/

 

available

in

english

only)

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108

3

/ Autorization to be signed by the asylum seeker

 

(available in english only)

 

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116

4

/ Selection of documents related to the Dublin

 

regulation and its application

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117

As part of the project to build a common European asylum procedure, the Member States

As part of the project to build a common European asylum procedure, the Member States wanted to put an end to the problems of asylum shopping and asylum seekers in orbit. “Asylum shopping” is the process by which people whose first request for protection in a European Member State has been de- nied, file one or more other applications in another EU state. Inversely, “orbi- ting” asylum seekers are those for whom none of the European States consi- der themselves to be competent to process their protection application.

With this in mind, the Dublin II Regula- tion 1 , adopted on February 18, 2003, was intended to determine as quickly as pos- sible which Member State was responsi- ble for examining an asylum request. Spe- cific community rules were drawn up to serve as a basis for determining the Mem- ber State responsible for an asylum re- quest within the European Union.

The Dublin II Regulation works on the as- sumption that the level of protection is the same or at least similar in all Member States. However, in actual fact, NGOs as well as the European Parliament, the Eu- ropean Commission and the Member States, all claim that there are large diffe- rences between States. The implementa- tion of the Dublin Regulation has proved unfair for asylum seekers as well as for the States themselves.

The Regulation is criticised for the following reasons:

• The consequences of asylum seeker

transfers which rarely take into account the family ties or social or cultural links of asy- lum seekers with the country in which they requested asylum before being expulsed.

• The Regulation’s non-consideration of the

major differences that persist between the

different European asylum systems (gran- ting rates, reception system, integration measures, etc.).

• The regulation’s non-consideration of the number of asylum requests in the Member States.

• The almost systematic use of detention in implementing transfers.

• The non-consideration of the specific

needs of vulnerable people (unaccompa- nied minors, migrants with health problems)

• The risks of fundamental rights being vio- lated in the event of readmission.

On the basis of these considerations, Fo- rum réfugiés and other European NGOs decided to collaborate on the Dublin trans- national project to reinforce the NGOs’ ca- pacity to provide information and assis- tance to Dublin procedure asylum seekers and to eliminate or at least limit the negative effects of the procedure.

or at least limit the negative effects of the procedure. 1 - The Council Regulation (called

1 - The Council Regulation (called Dublin II) no.343/2003, dated February 18 2003, sets out the criteria and mechanisms for determining the State responsible for examining an asylum application presented in one of the Member States by a third country national

The Dublin Regulation, the European stakes and the project’s goals 4 DUBLIN TRANSNATIONAL PROJECT Final
The Dublin Regulation, the European stakes and the project’s goals 4 DUBLIN TRANSNATIONAL PROJECT Final

The Dublin Regulation, the European stakes and the project’s goals

The overall context of the Dublin regulation I. I. General presentation When it was first

The overall context of the Dublin regulation

I. I. General presentation

When it was first drawn up and adopted in 2003, the Dublin Regulation (often known as Dublin II) was part of the ongoing European Union process to harmonise asylum application procedures throughout Europe in terms of reception condi- tions, asylum procedures and the actual definition of the content of each possible type of protection. It was one of the first asylum harmonisation laws to be adopted. This rapid adoption was partly due to the fact that the States found it easier to agree on the technical mechanisms to regulate flows rather than on a common definition of re- fugee protection. The very nature of the text clearly shows that efficiency prevailed in this mat- ter: it is a community regulation that is directly ap- plicable in every Member State without needing to be transposed into national legislation.

The gradual creation of a community database within the European Union to share the finger- prints of any person having passed through or stayed in a Member State 2 , has given further meaning to the Dublin system. Council Regula- tion no. 2725/2000, December 11, 2000, concer- ning the creation of the “Eurodac” system to compare fingerprints for the purposes of impro- ving the efficiency of application of the Dublin convention provides for the creation of a central database containing the fingerprints of three ca- tegories of foreigners: asylum seekers, people crossing an external EU border illegally and peo- ple residing illegally within the EU. This electronic system makes it considerably easier to prove the passage and/or residence of asylum seekers in another European country. It came into effect on January 15, 2003.

I.1.Content of the Dublin Regulation: principles, criteria and mechanisms

The Dublin Regulation came into effect on March 17, 2003, and applies only to asylum requests made after September 1, 2003. On September 2, 2003, the European Commission published an ap- plication regulation to specify certain practical as- pects of the Dublin Regulation.

The Dublin Regulation applies to the 27 Member States of the European Union, except for Den- mark, where Dublin I remains applicable until agree- ment is reached with the European Union. Norway and Iceland are also concerned by Dublin II. In 2008, Switzerland also joined the Dublin system.

I.1.1. The two mechanisms to determine the responsible state: take charge and take back

Dublin II provides for two categories of situations, each governed by its own mechanism. The diffe- rence between the two lies in the lodging or not of a first asylum application before arriving in the second Member State. It is this “trace” of passage of an asylum seeker in a first EU Member State that triggers the procedure to determine which State is responsible. Although these two mecha- nisms both lead to the transfer of the asylum see- ker from one State to another, they differ in the deadlines they impose regarding implementation of the procedure.

The take charge mechanism This mechanism applies to asylum seekers who have passed through or stayed in a European Union member state without lodging an asylum ap- plication and who have moved on to another State.

The take back mechanisms This mechanism concerns asylum seekers who have lodged a first application in one Member State and a second application in another State. The first asylum application may be under exa- mination, the asylum seeker may have been re- jected, or have withdrawn or abandoned his ap- plication.

2 - Reference to the Eurodac system (EC) no.2725/2000, application date 28/02/2003

3 - Article 15

of the Dublin II regulation is not binding upon the States. It merely represents an available possibility.

4 - Article 12

of the application regulation of the European Commission.

5 - Article 17

of the Dublin II regulation

6 - Article 17

of the Dublin II regulation.

7 - Article 15

of the Dublin II regulation is not binding upon the States. It merely represents an available possibility.

8 Article 17 of the Dublin II regulation

Article 3-2 of the Regulation says that a State can always examine an asylum request even if, under the regulation, it is not responsible for doing so (sovereignty clause).

I.1.2.

the responsible State

The criteria for determining

The responsibility of a State is established ac- cording to the strength of the link between the asylum seeker and the State. There are a total of eleven criteria, grouped into four main categories of links (family, administrative, material and fact). As well as these categories, the Regulation pro-

vides for a set of humanitarian situations to be ta- ken into consideration.

Each of the criteria to determine the responsible State is only applicable if the previous criterion is not applicable to the situation in hand. This is the Regulation’s principle of the hierarchy of criteria (Article 5). The final criterion used if none of the previous criteria apply is that of the place of filing of the asylum application (Article 13).

In any case, the situation on the date of the ap- plicant’s first application to a Member State is the situation taken into account (Article 5-2).

State is the situation taken into account (Article 5-2). ties Family CRITERIA ARTICLE RESPONSIBLE STATE

ties

Family

CRITERIA ARTICLE RESPONSIBLE STATE REMARKS Unaccompanied 6 State in which a family member of the

CRITERIA

ARTICLE

RESPONSIBLE STATE

REMARKS

Unaccompanied