March 20, 2019

Court: Germany Can Return Refugees to EU Countries with Worse Life Conditions

Germany has a right to deport asylum-seekers to the other EU countries even if they may face worse life conditions there, Deutsche Welle reports with reference to the decision of the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. 

The judges decided that the weak social benefit systems in any of the EU countries should not prevent deportation of asylum-seekers. 

Exceptions are applied only in extreme cases, where a person is deprived of the “most basic needs, such as feeding, washing and finding shelter,” the judges said. This does not include “significant poverty” or the wish to have German social standards. 

The judges noted that the asylum system in the EU is based on mutual trust, and the decisions taken by the EU member states shall respect human right. 

They also decided that asylum applications might be rejected in those cases when the applicants are already enjoying subsidiary protection in another EU country. 

According to the EU’s Dublin Regulation, asylum seekers must submit asylum application in the first EU country of entry. This country is responsible for the protection of this person and for the application processing. Migrants, who move to some other country illegally and who submit application there, may be returned to their first country. The deportation shall be carried out during six months. 

The Court considered the case concerning the deportation of a Gambian man, who had submitted asylum application in Italy, after that he went to his friends in Germany and submitted another application there. He stated that he should not be deported back to Italy because of poor conditions for refugees there. Other cases concerning a Palestinian who arrived in Germany via Bulgaria, and a Chechen who arrived in the country via Poland were also considered. 

Court decision is important because it provides Germany with an opportunity to return asylum-seekers to the first country of their entry in the EU. However, final decision about the destiny of asylum-seekers will be taken by Germany’s federal courts. 

Last year, Germany deported more than 8,000 asylum-seekers to other EU countries. The majority were returned to Italy, some were returned to Greece, while none of them was accepted by Hungary. 

It should be reminded that Denmark’s parliament has passed the law aimed at the transition from integration to repatriation of asylum-seekers in the future, in particular, this concerns refugees with UN quotas and other persons without permanent status.