Many asylum seekers are not aware of what the Dublin Agreement is and what it means for them. We explain what you need to know and what it means for asylum seekers.
What is the Dublin agreement?
The Dublin Agreement is a European Law that determines which country is responsible for examining an asylum application which is normally the country the asylum seeker first entered Europe.
The European Union discovered that many refugees submitted asylum applications in more than one country and that they received aid from more than one country.
In addition this, the asylum seekers would head to a specific group of European countries without going to the other, which made it necessary for European countries to find an appropriate formula to determine the quota each country has asylum seekers.
It was then decided that asylum seeker would be returned to the first country of origin/to which they applied for asylum.
This aim of this is to make sure applicants don’t apply severally to different countries seeking asylum in different Dublin states. These include the member countries of the EU plus Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
Lots of people say they were forced to apply for asylum. Why?
When a person enters any country, they are considered to have crossed the border illegally, and therefore deserve either imprisonment or return, unless they submit an asylum application.
The Dublin Agreement passed through three phases: the first Dublin Agreement 1990, the second 2003, and the third 2013. The agreement began with 12 countries and ended with the European Union, in addition to Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Britain withdrew from the European Union so there’s no longer the possibility of applying to the Dublin Convention for asylum seekers in Britain.
The European Union countries adopted the fingerprint system to ensure that the asylum seeker submitted asylum in no more than one country. As soon as the fingerprint appears in the data bank, the country in which the fingerprint is printed is sent to the country the person applied for asylum.
The waiting period is for six months. If the period has passed and that country did not ask for him to be sent and accepted, the procedures are followed up.
How many countries have signed the Dublin Convention?
According to the Dublin III Agreement, the number of European Union countries has increased to 28, and four countries have been added to it, namely Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, where the total number has become 32 countries.
The main goal is spatial jurisdiction. As it is considered the first country in which the asylum application is submitted, is responsible for the asylum procedures.
The duration of the Dublin procedures has nothing to do with the reasons for asylum neither does the rejection of the asylum application by the European state due to the Dublin Convention. This is because the country that rejected the asylum application does not look into the asylum seeker’s entitlement to protection or asylum, but rather to the spatial jurisdiction.
Therefore, it is a common mistake for people whose asylum applications are refused admission to turn to lawyers.
Is the Dublin Agreement regulated?
The Dublin 3 Directive has been regulated since 2013. The regulation states that the asylum procedure must be carried out in the country in which the refugee entered the EU for the first time.
Asylum procedures usually take more than six months.
What does six months mean after submitting the application to the office of the responsible branch of the Federal Office or at the responsible arrival centre the personal interview takes place?
Justifications are sought for non-implementation of the agreement or non-deportation for family or health reasons. If there are indications that another Member State is responsible for the application, the Dublin initiation file will be submitted to the locally responsible Dublin Centre at the Federal Office.
What happens if the asylum seeker is registered to another member state?
If the examination conducted by the Dublin Centre shows that another member state is responsible for processing the asylum application, the so-called takeover application is sent to the respective member state.
If the Member State agrees to the takeover request, the Federal Office determines that the asylum application is inadmissible and orders deportation to the responsible Member State.
If a decision is issued refusing asylum and deportation to the state with jurisdiction, the person concerned can file a case against this decision to the administrative court in their state and can demand a stay of execution.
If the execution is not suspended, the transfer (deportation) must take place within six months of the approval of the Member State. If the person concerned is present in custody, the period of transfer (deportation) is 12 months. If the person concerned is absent, the deportation period is 18 months. But if the execution is suspended, the period of deportation will stop until a decision is taken on this request.
READ RELATED ARTICLE: Germany reactivates the Dublin agreement to return refugees to other countries
Who is responsible for deportation?
Responsibility for deportation lies with the immigration authorities and the Federal Police.
If the deadlines we set have passed and the deportation decision is not implemented, the person remains in the last country in which they applied for asylum and is not deported, and the Dublin Agreement loses its legal document.
Cases of suspension of the agreement
- Health cases
If the person to be deported proves, through medical reports, that the deportation poses a danger to their life, the Dublin procedures stop humanitarian cases.
2. Countries that mistreat refugees and migrants
There are some European Union countries known for their non-compliance with refugee protection agreements and resorting to violence with immigrants, such as Hungary. In this case, the second country can not implement the Dublin Convention and not issue a deportation decision.
3. Family cases
Family Cases in order to prevent the family from disintegrating, Dublin procedures can be stopped if part of the family is in a second country, as well as for minors.
4. Exceeding the implementation period.
As we previously stated, the period for implementing the deportation decision is either 6, 12 or 18 months, as described above.