Dublin statistics on countries responsible for asylum application


Data extracted in September 2019.

Planned article update: October 2020.

Highlights

In 2018, the largest numbers of outgoing requests using the Dublin procedure were sent by Germany (54 906), France (45 358), the Netherlands (8 619), and Belgium (8 384).

In 2018, Italy received the largest number of incoming requests using the Dublin procedure (41 911), followed by Germany (25 005) and Spain (10 762).

In 2018, Portugal and Estonia reported the highest proportions of acceptances among decisions on incoming requests under the Dublin procedure, both above 90 %.

Acceptance rates of incoming requests, 2018

This article presents EU statistics on the Dublin Regulation (EU) No 604/2013 [1] which aims at reducing consecutive transfers of asylum seekers from one Member State to another and at preventing abuse of the system by the submission of several applications for asylum by one person. The main principle is that only one Member State is responsible for examining an asylum application by a citizen of a non-EU country or by a stateless person. If during the course of the processing of an application the authorities in a Member State decide that the application should be dealt with in another Member State, the authorities of the former may make a request to the other Member State for the latter to take over the responsibility of the asylum application (and consequently take over the applicant). Accordingly, the statistics refer to outgoing requests (Member States report requests sent out) and incoming requests (Member States report requests received).

This article describes the latest situation — data for 2018 — in relation to the numbers and types of requests, and the reasons for requests. It also refers to subsequent stages in the procedure, namely decisions taken concerning the requests, as well as any transfers of responsibility and persons resulting from accepted requests to Member States which accepted the responsibility to examine their applications. Data[2] are provided for all EU Member States as well as the four European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries as they are associated to the Dublin III Regulation. Totals are also provided for the EU-28, although it should be noted that due to missing data some totals are based on available data and the precise coverage of each value is explained in the text or footnoted in the accompanying figures.


Full article

Dublin requests

Incoming and outgoing Dublin requests between 2008 and 2018

Between 2008 (the start of the time series) and 2018 the overall number of incoming and outgoing Dublin requests increased greatly, with this development more prominent from 2013 onwards — see Figure 1. In 2016 in particular, Dublin requests leapt upwards, following the large inflow of migrants in 2015 which resulted in increased numbers of asylum applicants in the EU-28. In theory, the total number of requests should be similar for incoming and outgoing requests. In Figure 1 these are not the same for several reasons, including: the data are shown for the EU-28, but requests may also be sent to or received from EFTA countries; the data for the EU-28 are incomplete, with different coverage almost every year and also differences in the coverage for incoming and outgoing requests even for the same year; possible administrative differences in the method and timing of recording of requests.

Figure 1: Number of requests, EU-28, 2008-2018
(number)
Source: Eurostat (migr_dubri) and (migr_dubro)

Incoming and outgoing Dublin requests in 2018

In 2018, there were large disparities in incoming requests between EU Member States (Figure 2), both in terms of how many requests were handled and also in terms of the net requests received (the difference between the number of incoming and outgoing requests).

Five Member States sent out (outgoing requests) less than 100 requests: Spain, the three Baltic Member States (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) and Slovakia. A total of 12 Member States sent between 100 and 1 000 requests, while nine Member States sent between 1 000 and 9 000 requests, including Belgium (8 384) and the Netherlands (8 619) which sent the most from this grouping. The largest numbers of outgoing requests were sent by France (45 358) and Germany (54 906). The four Member States making the largest number of (outgoing) — Germany, France, the Netherlands and Belgium — were ones that had no major land borders with countries outside of the EU or EFTA and as such asylum seekers arriving by land were likely to have come through another EU Member State or an EFTA country to reach them. In fact, this was true for most of the Member States having made at least 1 000 outgoing requests, the only exception being Greece.

Figure 2: Number of requests, 2018
(number)
Source: Eurostat (migr_dubri) and (migr_dubro)

Italy received the largest number of incoming requests in 2018, a total of 41 911, considerably more than the number received by Germany (25 005) which had the next highest number. Spain (10 762 requests) was the only other EU Member State to receive more than 10 000 requests; seven received less than 1 000 requests, among which was Cyprus which received less than one hundred requests (85 requests), the lowest number. Member States receiving many incoming requests include both primary destination countries for asylum seekers and EU-border countries. For example, Italy, Spain, Greece, Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania are EU-border countries and received many incoming take back requests for asylum seekers who first entered the EU through their borders. On the other hand, Germany, France, Sweden and Austria also received many incoming requests, reflecting asylum seekers making an initial application in these countries before moving on to another country.

A simple ranking of the number of incoming requests puts Italy and Germany at the top. However, when combining data on the number of requests sent and the number received (based on data in Figure 2) Italy received 37 283 more requests than it sent in 2018. Spain was also a major net recipient of requests, with 10 755 more requests received than sent. By contrast, France and Germany sent respectively 36 614 and 29 901 more requests than they received.

Data for 2017 and for 2018 are available for both incoming and outgoing requests for 27 of the EU Member States, while for Czechia data are only available for outgoing requests (see Figure 3).

Figure 3: Annual rate of change in the number of requests, 2018
(%)
Source: Eurostat (migr_dubri) and (migr_dubro)

The strongest increases between 2017 and 2018 in the number of outgoing requests were recorded for Malta and Ireland, more than doubling in both cases but remaining below 1 000 requests. Outgoing requests from Italy, Croatia and Belgium also increased by at least 50 %. There was also an increase in outgoing requests from France — which had the second highest number of outgoing requests in 2018 — up 10.0 % compared with 2017. By contrast, Germany — which had the highest number of outgoing requests — recorded a fall of 13.3 %. The number of outgoing requests from Slovakia, Hungary and Romania more than halved.

The number of incoming requests increased most strongly between 2017 and 2018 in Greece, more than trebling from 2 549 in 2017 to 8 807 in 2018 (up 245.5 %). The next highest increase in the number of incoming requests was in Slovenia where the number doubled (up 108.4 %). Several Member States with relatively large numbers of incoming requests saw this number fall between 2017 and 2018, for example in Germany (down 7.1 %), Poland (down 20.4 %), Bulgaria (down 56.4 %) and Hungary (down 61.1 %). However, Italy, which received the largest number of requests in 2018, recorded an increase in the number of incoming requests, up 57.4 %.

Incoming take charge and take back requests

There are two types of incoming and outgoing requests, known as take charge or take back. In the case of the take charge requests, the requesting country (the one sending the request) considers that the other Member State (receiving the request) should take over responsibility for examining the asylum application of an individual. In the case of take back requests, the asylum seeker (who is in the requesting country) has already submitted an application for asylum in the country receiving the request.

In 2018, there were more than twice as many incoming take back requests (102 045) as there were take charge requests (42 505) in the EU-28. This pattern — more take back than take charge requests — was observed in 20 EU Member States in 2018 while the reverse situation was observed in the remaining seven Member States for which data are available (no data for Czechia). The ratio of take back to take charge requests was particularly high in Bulgaria (40 take back requests for each take charge request) and to a lesser extent in Romania, Austria, Denmark and Slovenia — see Figure 4. By contrast, more than two thirds of requests received in the Baltic Member States, Slovakia, Portugal and Spain were take charge requests, as were more than half (55 %) of the requests received by the United Kingdom.

Figure 4: Incoming take charge and take back requests, 2018
(number)
Source: Eurostat (migr_dubri)

The two pie charts in Figure 5 present the different reasons underlying requests for taking charge or taking back.

Taking charge relates to the following reasons (the statistics also include a category for reason unknown which is only used by countries when detailed data by reason are not available) as laid down in the Dublin III Regulation:

  • family reasons (Articles 8, 9, 10, 11 of the Dublin III Regulation);
  • documentation and legal entry reasons (Articles 12.1, 12.2, 12.3, 12.4, 14);
  • application in an international transit area of an airport (Article 15);
  • irregular entry (Article 13.1);
  • irregular stay (Article 13.2);
  • dependent persons (Article 16);
  • humanitarian reasons (Article 17.2).

Examples of situations where one EU Member State may ask another to take charge of an applicant include cases where: the other Member State has issued the applicant with a residence document, a work permit or a visa; the applicant crossed the border of the other Member State in an irregular manner before applying for asylum; the applicant is an unaccompanied child wishing to be reunited with a family member legally present in the other Member State (if it is in the best interests of the minor).

In 2018, the vast majority of incoming take charge requests received in the EU-28 (excluding Czechia for which data on reasons for incoming take charge and take back requests are not available) were related to documentation and legal entry (41.2 %), irregular entry (37.1 %) and family reasons (11.0 %); together these three categories accounted for 9 out of 10 take charge requests — see Figure 5.

Figure 5: Reasons for incoming take charge and take back requests, EU-28, 2018
(%)
Source: Eurostat (migr_dubri)

Taking back relates to the following reasons (the statistics also include a category for reason unknown only used by countries when detailed data by reason are not available):

  • under examination — no permission to stay (Article 18.1.b of the Dublin III Regulation);
  • rejection — no permission to stay (Article 18.1.d);
  • withdrawal — new application (Article 18.1.c);
  • withdrawal — during the Dublin procedure (Article 20.5).

Examples of situations where one EU Member State may ask another to take back an applicant include cases where: the applicant had already made an application in the other Member State and that application had not yet been finalised; the applicant had withdrawn an application in the other Member State prior to a decision being made; an application in the other Member State had been rejected and the applicant had moved to the Member State (now making the request for take back) without permission.

The lack of permission for an asylum applicant to stay (no residence permit) accounted for 97.6 % of incoming take back requests: 84.4 % were cases still under examination while 13.2 % had been rejected. The withdrawal of applications — either during the Dublin procedure or with new applications — made up only 1.3 % of reasons for incoming take back requests.

Outgoing take charge and take back requests

In 2018, there were 2.3 times as many outgoing take back requests (102 832) as there were take charge requests (45 189) in the EU-28. This pattern — more take back than take charge requests — was observed in 18 EU Member States in 2018 while the reverse situation was observed in the remaining 10 Member States. The ratio of take back to take charge requests was particularly high in Italy — see Figure 6. By contrast, two thirds or more of requests sent from Greece, the Baltic Member States and Bulgaria were take charge requests.

Figure 6: Outgoing take charge and take back requests, 2018
(number)
Source: Eurostat (migr_dubro)

In 2018, the vast majority of outgoing take charge requests sent in the EU-28 were related to documentation and legal entry (43.9 %), irregular entry (30.4 %) and family reasons (12.5 %); together these three categories accounted for nearly 9 out of 10 (86.8 %) take charge requests — see Figure 7. Nearly all outgoing take back requests sent in the EU-28 were related to there being no permission to stay, either concerning applications under examination (82.7 %) or rejected ones (13.9 %).

Figure 7: Reasons for outgoing take charge and take back requests, EU-28, 2018
(%)
Source: Eurostat (migr_dubro)

Decisions on Dublin requests

Accepted and rejected decisions

The number of decisions taken on Dublin requests is related to the number of requests, although the decision on a particular request may be made in a different calendar year, especially if decisions are delayed [3]. Due to the relative volatility in the incoming and outgoing requests in the Member States in recent years (related to the volatility in the number of asylum applicants) there can be substantial differences between the number of requests and the number of decisions in a single reporting year.

In 2018, Italy (42 710) and Germany (22 836) made the largest number of decisions on incoming requests (see Figure 8), with Italy accepting 83.0 % of the requests it received and Germany 64.7 % (see also Figure 10). A total of 17 EU Member States took between 1 000 and 11 000 decisions on Dublin requests in 2018, while the remainder took less than 1 000 decisions, with Cyprus taking less than 100 decisions.

Figure 8: Decisions on incoming requests, 2018
(number)
Source: Eurostat (migr_dubdi)

Looking at outgoing requests, in 2018, Germany (51 666) and France (39 919) received the largest number of decisions (see Figure 9), with 70.7 % of the requests from Germany being accepted and 73.3 % of those from France (see also Figure 10). A total of eight EU Member States received between 1 000 and 7 200 decisions on their outgoing Dublin requests in 2018, while the remainder received less than 1 000 decisions on their requests, with Cyprus, Slovakia, the Baltic Member States and Spain receiving less than 100 decisions on their outgoing requests.

Figure 9: Decisions on outgoing requests, 2018
(number)
Source: Eurostat (migr_dubdo)

Figure 10 compares the acceptance rates — the share of decisions that are accepted — for incoming and outgoing requests.

A majority of EU Member States reported that more than half of the decisions in 2018 on their outgoing requests were accepted, the exceptions being Spain, Greece, Slovenia, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary and Cyprus. More than three quarters of decisions in 2018 on outgoing requests from Latvia, the Netherlands, Estonia and Portugal were accepted.

Figure 10: Acceptance rates of requests, 2018
(%)
Source: Eurostat (migr_dubdi) and (migr_dubdo)

For decisions on incoming requests (note that no data are available for Czechia), the situation was somewhat more varied. In five EU Member States less than half of the decisions in 2018 on incoming requests were accepted, with this share around one quarter in Bulgaria (25.1 %), one fifth in Hungary (18.8 %) and as low as 2.5 % in Greece. Portugal and Estonia reported the highest proportions of acceptances among decisions taken in 2018 on incoming requests, both above 90 %.

Unilateral decisions

Along with decisions concerning requests for another EU Member State to take back or take charge of an asylum applicant, data are available for a second group of decisions, namely unilateral ones. Data are available for two types of unilateral decisions: the so-called sovereignty clause and taking responsibility by default. The sovereignty clause (or discretionary clause, Article 17.1 of the Dublin III Regulation) is applied when a Member State decides to take responsibility for the applicant even though it is not responsible under the objective criteria as laid down in the Regulation. A Member State can apply the discretionary clause at any time in the Dublin procedure, until the effective transfer of the person concerned is implemented to the partner country that would otherwise be responsible. Concerning responsibility by default there are three types of decisions: no prior criteria applicable (Article 3.2 first paragraph); no transfer due to a risk of inhuman and degrading treatment in the responsible Member State (Article 3.2 second and third paragraphs); transfer not carried out within time limits (Article 29.2).

The reasons EU Member States take unilateral decisions under the sovereignty clause vary between them and include exceptional family considerations outside the definition of family members in Article 2(g), applicants with particular medical (or other special) needs and cases of human trafficking. Member States may also use unilateral decisions under Article 3.2 second subparagraph because a transfer to the Member State responsible would expose the applicant to a serious risk of violation of their fundamental rights due to the living conditions or access to asylum procedures available to applicants in that Member State. These cases tend to be based on national or EU jurisprudence. Also considered under Article 3.2 first subparagraph are cases where the responsibility of another Member State cannot be established, for example because requests were not conclusive or there was a lack of proof that another Member State was responsible.

In 2018, there were 11 845 cases of the sovereignty clause being applied in the EU-28. Germany reported 7 805 of these, close to two thirds (65.9 %) of the total — see Figure 11. Only three other Member States reported more than 100 cases of the sovereignty clause being invoked —the Netherlands (1 542, 13.0 % of the total), Belgium (1 206, 10.2 %) and France (1 010, 8.5 %) — while the next highest numbers were 75 cases in Luxembourg and 68 cases in Malta.

Figure 11: Persons for whom the sovereignty clause was applied, 2018
(number)
Source: Eurostat (migr_dubduni)

Figure 12 presents similar information for cases where the responsibility for an application has been taken over by default. A total of 44 460 unilateral decisions were taken concerning responsibility by default in the EU-28 in 2018 (including incomplete data for Sweden, 2017 data for Lithuania and a combination of 2017 and 2018 data for Germany; see Figure 12 for details). Three Member States dominated this total, with 13 542 such decisions in Belgium (30.5 % of the total), 12 843 in the Netherlands (28.9 %) and 10 238 in France (23.0 %). Three other EU Member States — the United Kingdom, Malta and Denmark — recorded over 1 000 such decisions and nine more — Sweden (incomplete), Luxembourg, Hungary, Croatia, Ireland, Romania, Czechia, Austria and Slovakia — recorded more than 100 such decisions. In the EU-28 the distinction between the three types of default responsibility mainly reflects the relative importance of these types in the three Member States that dominate the EU-28 total. In France, the fact that a transfer was not implemented was the dominant underlying cause of a unilateral decision to take responsibility by default, accounting for nearly two thirds (65.9 %) of default decisions. By contrast, in Belgium and the Netherlands the main underlying cause was that no prior criteria were applicable (another Member State could not be identified as responsible), accounting for 94.5 % of cases in the Netherlands and 90.2 % in Belgium.

Figure 12: Unilateral decisions to take responsibility for a person by default, 2018
(number)
Source: Eurostat (migr_dubduni)

Implemented transfers within the Dublin procedure

The final stage in the Dublin procedure is the actual transfer of responsibility for an applicant or for another person from the requesting Member State to the Member State responsible. This implies the physical transfer of the person concerned from the requesting Member State to the partner country who has accepted the responsibility to take back or to take charge of that person. The transfer has to be carried out as soon as practically possible and at the latest within 6 months of acceptance of the request by the partner Member State. This time limit may be extended up to a maximum of one year if the transfer could not be carried out due to imprisonment of the person concerned, or up to a maximum of 18 months if the person concerned absconds.

Figures 13 and 14 refer to transfers effectively implemented in 2018, while Figures 15 and 16 provide information on the duration within which transfers took place once a decision had been taken.

In 2018, 24 662 incoming transfers were reported by the EU Member States as well as 25 960 outgoing transfers; note that both of these totals are based on an incomplete total, excluding Czechia (for which data are not available).

The largest numbers of outgoing transfers were recorded by Germany (9 209), Greece (5 447), France (3 533), Austria (2 291) and the Netherlands (1 849), while Sweden, Belgium and Denmark also recorded more than 500 outgoing transfers (see Figure 13).

By far the largest numbers of incoming transfers were recorded by Germany (7 580) and Italy (6 351), while France, the United Kingdom and Sweden also recorded more than 1 000 incoming transfers.

Figure 13: Implemented transfers, 2018
(number)
Source: Eurostat (migr_dubti) and (migr_dubto)

The largest absolute differences between the numbers of incoming and outgoing transfers were recorded in Italy (6 162), the United Kingdom (1 006), Poland (829) and Spain (808) among those Member States with more incoming transfers and in Greece (5 429), France (1 696), Germany (1 629), Austria (1 297) and the Netherlands (1 014) among those with more outgoing transfers.

Figure 14: Rate of implemented transfers, 2018
(%)
Source: Eurostat (migr_dubdi), (migr_dubdo), (migr_dubti) and (migr_dubto)

Figure 14 combines information on the number of accepted requests and the number of implemented transfers to produce the rate of implemented transfers. As there is a time lag between a request being accepted and the person being transferred the two parts of the rate — accepted requests in a calendar year and transfers implemented in a calendar year — may not relate to the same group of people. As a result it is possible in exceptional cases to have rates in excess of 100 %. Some of the persons whose applications are processed under the Dublin procedure may abscond during the procedure and therefore cannot be effectively transferred. In addition a person who has made an application may also return to their country of origin, be transferred on the basis of other rules (for example returns or readmission agreements) or appeal against the transfer. In such cases, transfers may not be implemented despite a request having been accepted.

For the EU-28 (excluding Czechia for which data are not available) this rate was 26.1 % for incoming transfers/accepted incoming requests and 27.9 % for outgoing transfers/accepted outgoing requests. Five EU Member States reported an outgoing rate that was equal to or in excess of 100 %: Greece (354.9 %), Hungary (171.0 %), Cyprus (142.9 %), Bulgaria (130.0 %) and Estonia (100.0 %), while the incoming rate peaked in the United Kingdom at 98.5 %.

Figures 15 and 16 provide an analysis of the speed with which applicants were transferred, based on the time lag between a decision being taken and the person being actually transferred. Data are compiled for three durations, these corresponding to the various possibilities for the timing of transfers as laid down in the Dublin III Regulation: the transfer of the applicant from the requesting Member State shall be carried out in accordance with the national law of the requesting Member State and at the latest within six months of acceptance of the request; this time limit may be extended up to a maximum of one year if the transfer could not be carried out due to the imprisonment of the person concerned or up to a maximum of eighteen months if the person concerned absconds.

The EU-28 Member States (excluding Czechia, Hungary and Portugal for which data are not available) reported that on average nearly two thirds (65 %) of the incoming transfers that took place in 2018 were completed within six months of a an incoming request being accepted, with 21 % completed within a further six months (between 7 and 12 months in total) and the remaining 14 % within the final possible six month period (between 13 and 18 months) — see Figure 15. The highest shares of transfers completed within six months were reported by Member States with relatively low numbers of transfers: in Cyprus there were three transfers, all of which were completed within six months, while in Ireland there were 34 incoming transfers in 2018, 31 of which (91%) were completed within six months. By contrast, 448 out of the 1 215 transfers into the United Kingdom were completed within six months, a share of 37 %. With the exception of the United Kingdom, in every other Member State for which data are available more than half of all incoming transfers were completed within six months. Close to three tenths of incoming transfers took between 13 and 18 months to complete in Croatia and Germany and this share ranged from one tenth to one fifth in Slovakia, Poland, Romania, Lithuania and France.

Figure 15: Duration of transfers for incoming transfers, 2018
(%)
Source: Eurostat (migr_dubti)

For outgoing transfers the distribution of the duration of transfers was broadly similar to that for incoming transfers — see Figure 16. Greece reported the lowest share of outgoing transfers completed within six months (45 % of 5 447 outgoing transfers) while Germany reported that just over half (55 %) of its 9 209 transfers were completed within this duration. By contrast, all of the remaining EU Member States (for which data are available) reported that more than four fifths of outgoing transfers were completed within six months. In fact, there were 10 Member States where all outgoing transfers were implemented within six months, all of which were Member States with fewer than 55 transfers.

Figure 16: Duration of transfers for outgoing transfers, 2018
(%)
Source: Eurostat (migr_dubto)

Dublin requests and Asylum applications

In 2018, there were 646 060 applications for asylum in the EU-28 and 148 021 outgoing requests through the Dublin procedure, a ratio of 1 request for 4.4 applications. In other words, for every 100 applications, 23 resulted in a request by an EU Member State to another Member State to take over responsibility; again it should be noted that the applications and requests may relate to different people, as an application may be made in one calendar year and the outgoing request sent in the following calendar year.

The number of asylum applications and Dublin requests are positively related. On average, the greater the number of asylum applicants in a Member State the greater the number of Dublin requests that can be expected to be sent by that Member State to other Member States — see Figure 17. This ratio of requests to applications was lowest (reflecting a relatively low number of outgoing Dublin requests) in Spain, where in 2018 there were just seven outgoing Dublin requests and 54 050 asylum applications; in other words the ratio was almost zero. Cyprus also had a low ratio: an average of two Dublin requests for every 100 applications. Poland, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Czechia, Latvia, Finland and Lithuania all averaged between 5 and 10 Dublin requests for every 100 asylum applications. At the other end of the scale, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary averaged 35-41 outgoing Dublin requests for every 100 asylum applications, with an even higher ratio in Luxembourg (an average of 49 per 100 applications).

Figure 17: Number of outgoing Dublin requests relative to the number of asylum applications, 2018
(number of requests per 100 applications)
Source: Eurostat (migr_dubro) and (migr_asyappctza)

Source data for tables and graphs

Data sources

The legal basis of data collection on migration and international protection (asylum) is given by Council Regulation 862/2007 of 11 July 11 2007, which refers, among others, to the obligation to submit Dublin statistics. The national data are provided by the Ministries of interior, statistical offices or agencies responsible for immigration.

Data are collected on an annual basis (calendar year) and must be transmitted by reporting countries no later than three months after the end of the reference period. The time series start with the 2008 reference year.

Cautions on quality and comparability

Article 4.4 of Council Regulation 862/2007 refers to statistics based on the number of requests. It is however recommended by Eurostat that data should be provided with respect to the number of persons concerned (by requests, decisions and transfers) as some requests may relate to more than one person. However, for technical reasons some countries supply statistics relating to the number of requests rather than persons.

Asymmetries

Asymmetries exist between incoming requests received by one Member State and outgoing requests sent by another. Asymmetries may exist for a number of reasons.

Member States may record requests at different times — a few days apart, which may lead to some small asymmetries between one reporting year and the next.

The initial reason for a request may be changed by the Member State receiving the request if its investigation of the request shows that there is a different basis for accepting the request than that proposed by the requesting Member State. Such changes in the nature of the requests may not be fully reflected in the statistics reported by the requesting and receiving Member States.

As noted above, some Member States provide information for the number of requests and others for the number of persons and these differ in the case of multi-person requests.

Context

Background

Since 1999, the EU has focused on the creation of a common European asylum system (CEAS) and the improvement of the current legislative framework. Between 1999 and 2005, several legislative measures harmonising common minimum standards for asylum were adopted. This was followed by a Green Paper (COM(2007) 301 final) in 2007, a Policy plan on asylum (COM(2008) 360 final) in 2008 and subsequently a revision of the legislation underlying the system. The following legislative texts provide the main basis for the asylum system at the present time.

  • The revised asylum procedures Directive aims at fairer, quicker and better quality asylum decisions. Asylum seekers with special needs will receive the necessary support to explain their claim and in particular there will be greater protection of unaccompanied minors and victims of torture.
  • The revised https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=celex%3A32013L0033 reception conditions Directive] ensures that there are humane material reception conditions (such as housing) for asylum seekers across the EU and that the fundamental rights of the concerned persons are fully respected. It also ensures that detention is only applied as a measure of last resort.
  • The revised Dublin Regulation enhances the protection of asylum seekers during the process of establishing the Member State responsible for examining the application, and clarifies the rules governing the relations between Member States. It creates a system to detect quickly problems in national asylum or reception systems and address their root causes before they develop into fully fledged crises.
  • The revised EURODAC Regulation allows law enforcement access to the EU fingerprint database of asylum seekers under strictly limited circumstances, in order to prevent, detect or investigate the most serious crimes, such as murder and terrorism.

The Dublin Regulation

The Dublin Regulation (developed from the original Dublin Convention) establishes the Member State responsible for the examination of the asylum application. The Regulation (EC) 2003/343 (known as Dublin II) replaced the 1990 Dublin Convention which first set the criteria relating to responsibility for processing an individual's asylum application. Dublin II remained valid until 1 January 2014, when Regulation (EU) No 604/2013, which was adopted on 26 June 2013, entered into force: it is known as Dublin III. All EU Member States apply the Dublin Regulation, as do the EFTA countries.

The Dublin procedure establishes the principle that only one Member State is responsible for examining an asylum application. The objective is to avoid asylum seekers being sent from one country to another and also to prevent abuse of the system by the submission of several applications for asylum by one person. The criteria for establishing responsibility range, in hierarchical order, from family considerations, to recent possession of a visa or residence permit in a Member State, to whether the applicant has entered the EU irregularly or regularly.

In April 2016 the European Commission presented a Communication Towards a reform of the Common European Asylum System and enhancing legal avenues to Europe (COM(2016) 197 final). This was followed in May and July 2016 by two packages of proposals for reforming the common European asylum system. Part of the first package was a proposal for a reform of the Dublin Regulation (COM(2016) 0270 final/2).

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Notes

  1. This regulation entered into force in January 2014 and is also known as the Dublin III Regulation. The Dublin III Regulation is the key legislation for the allocation of this responsibility. It is based on a hierarchical set of criteria, from family considerations, to recent possession of visa or residence permit in a Member State, to whether the applicant has entered the EU irregularly or regularly. The Dublin III Regulation is complemented by the EURODAC Regulation (EU) No 603/2013 which established the use of an EU asylum fingerprint database, the EURODAC central system.
  2. Data presented in this article refer to the geopolitical entity of the reporting country (GEO dimension in the online datasets) and are not to be confused with the data of the partner country involved (PARTNER dimension). For example, for Figure 2, the number of outgoing requests refer to the number of requests sent from the reporting country (to all partner countries), while the number of incoming requests refer to (incoming) requests received by the reporting country (from all partner countries).
  3. The Dublin Regulation (EU) No 604/2013 foresees that a reply (decision) shall be given within two months of receipt of a request to take charge of an applicant and within one month for requests to take back of an applicant, depending on specific provisions.
Asylum and Dublin statistics (migr_asy)
'Dublin' statistics (migr_dub)
'Dublin' requests (migr_dubreq)
Decisions on 'Dublin' requests (migr_dubdec)
Transfers (migr_dubtransf)