par Constantin Hruschka, Professeur invité à l’Université de Bielefeld univeristy bielefeld

Le système de Dublin a été déclaré mort à de nombreuses reprises au cours de la dernière décennie. Il a fait la preuve de ses dysfonctionnements dès ses origines, la répartition des responsabilités qui avait été imaginée n’ayant pas eu les effets escomptés, à savoir la prévention des «réfugiés en orbite» et celle de l’« asylum shopping ». Néanmoins, les procédures et les « transferts Dublin » sont toujours en vigueur et le système toujours actif. Tout porte à croire qu’il continuera d’exister et que la proposition de réforme de la Commission publiée le 4 mai 2016 (COM (2016) 270) relève davantage d’un changement dans la continuité que de la réforme nécessaire pour le rendre plus efficace et pratique.

Dans son évaluation de 2007 du système Dublin, la Commission européenne décrivait déjà ces dysfonctionnements et elle suggérait une réforme du système composé alors du règlement (CE) n ° 343/2003 (règlement « Dublin II »), du règlement (CE) n ° 2725/2000 (« Eurodac ») ainsi que des règlements d’exécution 1560/2003 et 407/2002. La réforme proposée a ainsi été débattue entre 2008 et 2013 et elle a conduit à l’adoption du règlement de Dublin refondu (règlement (UE) n ° 604/2013 « Dublin III ») et Eurodac (règlement (UE) n ° 603 / 2013) en 2013 ainsi que des modifications du règlement d’exécution (règlement (UE) 118/2014). Les principaux objectifs de la refonte étaient à la fois d’améliorer l’efficacité du système et de prévoir des normes plus élevées de protection pour les demandeurs d’asile. Continue reading »

By Dr. Constantin Hruschka, Lecturer at the University of Bielefeld univeristy bielefeld

The Dublin system has been declared dead on numerous occasions over the past decade. It has proven to be highly dysfunctional from the beginning, as the allocation of responsibility did not have the intended effects (i.e. the prevention of “refugees in orbit” and of “asylum shopping”). Nevertheless, Dublin procedures and Dublin transfers are still taking place and the system is still operating. It will continue as the Commission proposal released on 4 May 2016 is a change in the continuity rather than the reform necessary for a more workable and efficient system.

In its 2007 evaluation of the Dublin system, the EU Commission already described these effects and suggested a reform of the system, which then consisted of the Regulation (EC) No. 343/2003 (“Dublin-II-Regulation”) and the Regulation (EC) No. 2725/2000 (“Eurodac-Regulation”) as well as the related Implementing Regulations (Regulation (EC) No. 1560/2003 and Regulation (EC) No. 407/2002). The suggested reform was debated between 2008 and 2013 and led to the adoption of recast Regulations for Dublin (Regulation (EU) No. 604/2013 (“Dublin-III-Regulation”)) and Eurodac (Regulation (EU) No. 603/2013) in 2013 and to changes to the Dublin Implementing Regulation (Regulation (EU) 118/2014). The main aims of the recast were to enhance the efficiency of the system and to provide for higher standards of protection for asylum seekers. Continue reading »

By Eleni Karageorgiou, Lund University, Sweden  lund_university_logotype

Asylum in Sweden: a temporary “respite”

For at least a decade now, Sweden has been amongst the EU countries with the highest rate of first time registered asylum applicants compared to their population. Between 2010 and 2014 Sweden received, on average 24.4 applicants per 1,000 inhabitants. According to the UNHCR Asylum Trends report, the 28 Member States of the European Union registered 570,800 new asylum claims in 2014. Germany and Sweden accounted for 30 (173,100) and 13 (75,100) per cent of all asylum claims in the EU, respectively. In the Nordic Region, Sweden was the main destination country accounting for 70 per cent of all new claims registered.

The landscape has changed significantly after June 2015, when Sweden experienced a 197% increase compared to previous months. The number of monthly applications in August 2015 was 11,735, which more than doubled to 24,261 in September 2015, and increased by a further 61% to 39,055 applications in October 2015. Of a total of 163,000 asylum applications received by Sweden in 2015, 114.000 were lodged within the last three months, September – December 2015. To this number, one should add another 1900 refugees who are yearly resettled in Sweden, through the Swedish refugee quota system.

The increased arrivals of individuals seeking protection in 2015, particularly after the summer were perceived by the government, political parties and local authorities as stretching the state’s reception capacities to its limits. Municipalities have reported that they can no longer manage reception in a secure manner, while the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency has signaled that important public services cannot cope with the strain. According to the Swedish government “Sweden can no longer guarantee a roof over the head of those who make their way to our country and in the last week people have had to sleep outdoors”. Continue reading »

By Niovi Vavoula, Queen Mary, University of London  new_qmul

Since the past two decades, the exploitation of new technologies and the emphasis on collecting and exchanging information have been key aspects of the EU counter-terrorism strategy. An array of information exchange schemes have been developed on the basis of an intelligence-led approach, according to which the more data available, the more efficient the policies may be (for an overview of EU information exchange mechanisms see here).

The aim of the present blog post is to assess the role of the Schengen Information System (SIS) in the fight against the growing phenomenon of the “Foreign Fighters”. Landmarks in this context are, apart the terrorist events of 9/11 and the Madrid bombings in 2004, the recent attacks in Paris in January and November 2015 as well as in Brussels on 22 March 2016. It is demonstrated the extent to which the functionalities and the potential of the SIS have been slowly revisited in the wake of events with limited progress up to date. Despite the growing overreliance to this system has not been accompanied by proven effectiveness, the EU legislator calls for further exploitation of the database at the expense of fundamental rights and EU citizenship. The Commission proposal amending the Schengen Borders Code regarding the control of the crossing of external borders by foreign fighters should finally make the system effective but it could violate the principle of proportionality. Continue reading »

by Minos Mouzourakis, European Council on Refugees and Exiles European Council on Refugees and Exiles

Europe’s ongoing failure to find humane responses to the plight of refugees has primarily impacted on the living conditions available to those seeking asylum in the continent. In the European Union (EU), the Common European Asylum System lays down, in the recast Reception Conditions Directive, an elaborate set of obligations on Member States with regard to the conditions under which asylum seekers should be received, ranging from accommodation to health care, employment and education, as well as due care to persons with special needs. Yet the implementation of these obligations has been severely undermined in Europe’s emergency-driven response to the so-called “refugee crisis” in recent months, as documented by the Asylum Information Database  research in 20 European countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Germany, Spain, France, Greece, Croatia, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Serbia and Turkey.

With the expiry of the deadline for the transposition of the recast Reception Conditions Directive in July 2015, more stringent obligations have become binding upon most EU Member States with regard to providing accommodation and other reception conditions to applicants for international protection. Yet the sharp increase in arriving asylum seekers, coupled with a lack of preparedness on the part of European asylum systems to adjust to higher numbers, has revealed more marked a divide than ever between the theory and reality of reception standards. Continue reading »

by Ana Rita Gil (FDNUL/OMNIA) Logo_fdunl_Origand Susana Almeida (IPL)  IPL instituto politecnico de Leiria

The ECHR has again showed that the principles of effectiveness of protection of rights and of evolutive interpretation do not cease during “times of crisis”. When EU is facing the biggest migratory influx since the Yugoslavia War, the Court reinforced the protection that shall be afforded to migrants’ right to family reunification, affirming that such right must encompass same-sex couples. In the Pajić ruling it declared, on one hand, that same-sex unions should be considered as family life for the purposes of Article 8 ECHR. On the other hand, it put an end to the debate on whether the concept of family for immigration purposes would encompass such unions. However, even if its findings represent a step forward on what regards protection of migrant’s human rights, they do have some limitations, as an actual right to family reunification is yet to be recognised. Continue reading »