Dublin statistics on countries responsible for asylum application


Data extracted in September 2020.

Planned article update: September 2021.

Highlights

In 2019, the European Union (EU) Member States reported 142 494 outgoing and 132 940 incoming requests to transfer the responsibility to examine an asylum application.

In 2019, the largest numbers of outgoing requests using the Dublin procedure were sent by Germany (48 844), France (48 321), Belgium (11 882) and the Netherlands (9 267).

In 2019, Italy received the largest number of incoming requests using the Dublin procedure (34 921), followed by Germany (23 710), Greece (13 382) and France (10 668).

Dublin statistics3.jpg

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 EU 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 reporting requests sent out) and incoming requests (Member States reporting requests received).

This article describes the latest situation — data for 2019 — 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 United Kingdom and the four European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries as they are associated to the Dublin III Regulation. Some totals are also provided for the EU-27, although it should be noted that due to missing data (information for Czechia is systematically missing for the latest year as are data for Cyprus for some indicators) these 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 2009 and 2019

Between 2009 and 2019 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 a large inflow of migrants in 2015 which resulted in increased numbers of asylum applicants in the EU-27. In theory, the total number of requests should be similar for incoming and outgoing requests. In Figure 1 these two totals are not the same for several reasons, including: the data are shown for the EU-27, but requests may also be sent to or received from EFTA countries; the data for the EU-27 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-27, 2009-2019
(number)
Source: Eurostat (migr_dubri) and (migr_dubro)

Incoming and outgoing Dublin requests in 2019

In 2019, there were large disparities in incoming requests between EU Member States (see 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).

Six EU Member States sent out (outgoing requests) less than 100 requests: Spain, the three Baltic Member States (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania), Slovakia and Bulgaria. A total of nine Member States sent between 100 and 1 000 requests, while nine Member States sent between 1 000 and 12 000 requests, including the Netherlands (9 267) and Belgium (11 882). However, by far the largest numbers of outgoing requests were sent by France (48 321) and Germany (48 844). The four Member States making the largest number of outgoing requests — Germany, France, the Netherlands and Belgium — were characterised by having few or no major land borders with countries outside of the EU, the United Kingdom or EFTA; 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, 2019
(number)
Source: Eurostat (migr_dubri) and (migr_dubro)

Italy received the largest number of incoming requests in 2019, a total of 34 921, considerably more than the number received by Germany (23 710) which had the next highest number. Greece (13 382 requests) and France (10 668) were the only other EU Member States to receive more than 10 000 requests; eight of the Member States received less than 1 000 requests, among which was Cyprus which received less than one hundred requests (85 requests; 2018 data), the lowest number. Member States receiving many incoming requests include both primary destination countries for asylum seekers and EU-border countries. For example, Italy, Greece, Spain, 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, the Netherlands 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 reveals that Italy and Germany were at the top. However, when combining data on the number of requests sent and the number received (as shown in Figure 2), Italy received 31 353 more requests in 2019 than it sent. Greece and Spain were also major net recipients of requests, with respectively 8 189 and 7 082 more requests received than sent. By contrast, France and Germany sent respectively 37 653 and 25 134 more requests than they received.

Data for 2018 and for 2019 are available for both incoming and outgoing requests for 25 of the EU Member States; the rate of change for the number of requests is shown in Figure 3. 2019 data for Cyprus are incomplete and so a rate of change is shown for 2018 while recent data for Czechia are incomplete (not shown in Figure 3).

Figure 3: Annual rate of change in the number of requests, 2019
(%)
Source: Eurostat (migr_dubri) and (migr_dubro)

The largest increases between 2018 and 2019 in the number of outgoing requests were recorded for Portugal and Ireland, more than doubling in both cases but remaining below 2 000 requests. Outgoing requests from Malta and Croatia also increased by at least 50 %. Among the EU Member States with smaller increases in 2019 was France — which had the second highest number of outgoing requests in 2019 — up 6.5 % compared with 2018. By contrast, Germany — which had the highest number of outgoing requests — recorded a fall of 11.0 %. The number of outgoing requests from Bulgaria and Lithuania fell by more than two fifths.

The number of incoming requests increased most strongly between 2018 and 2019 in Croatia and Greece, up 65.9 % and 51.9 % respectively. The next highest increase in the number of incoming requests was in Portugal where the number increased by 26.5 %. However, Greece was not the only EU Member State that received a large number of requests (the third highest) to record a large increase in 2019: France received the fourth largest number of requests in 2019 and recorded an increase of 22.0 %. Several other Member States with relatively large numbers of incoming requests saw this number fall between 2018 and 2019, for example in Germany (down 5.2 %), Italy (down 16.7 %) and Spain (down 34.1 %).

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 EU 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 2019, there were more than three times as many incoming take back requests (100 260) as there were take charge requests (32 680) in the EU-27 (excluding Czechia and Cyprus). This pattern — more take back than take charge requests — was observed in 20 EU Member States in 2019 (and in Cyprus in 2018) while the reverse situation was observed in the remaining five 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 and Slovenia (19 and 18 take back requests for each take charge request) and to a lesser extent in Austria, Ireland, Sweden, Luxembourg and Denmark — see Figure 4. By contrast, more than two thirds of requests received in Spain, Portugal, Latvia and Estonia were take charge requests.

Figure 4: Incoming take charge and take back requests, 2019
(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 2019, the vast majority of incoming take charge requests received in the EU-27 (excluding Czechia and Cyprus for which 2019 data are incomplete or not available) were related to documentation and legal entry (53.5 %), irregular entry (30.9 %) and family reasons (9.5 %); together these three categories accounted for 94 % of take charge requests — see Figure 5.

Figure 5: Reasons for incoming take charge and take back requests, EU-27, 2019
(%)
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 98.6 % of incoming take back requests: 84.3 % were cases still under examination while 14.3 % had been rejected. The withdrawal of applications — either during the Dublin procedure or with new applications — made up only 1.0 % of reasons for incoming take back requests.

Outgoing take charge and take back requests

In 2019, there were 2.5 times as many outgoing take back requests (101 239) as there were take charge requests (41 255) in the EU-27 (excluding Czechia and Cyprus). This pattern — more take back than take charge requests — was observed in 19 EU Member States in 2019 while the reverse situation was observed in the remaining seven Member States for which data are available (note that data for Cyprus refer to 2018). The ratio of take back to take charge requests was particularly high in Portugal and Slovakia — see Figure 6. By contrast, two thirds or more of requests sent from Bulgaria, Lithuania and Greece were take charge requests.

Figure 6: Outgoing take charge and take back requests, 2019
(number)
Source: Eurostat (migr_dubro)

In 2019, the vast majority of outgoing take charge requests sent in the EU-27 (excluding Czechia and Cyprus) were related to documentation and legal entry (49.9 %), irregular entry (20.7 %), irregular stay (12.7 %) and family reasons (11.0 %); together these four categories accounted for 94 % of take charge requests — see Figure 7. Nearly all outgoing take back requests sent in the EU-27 were related to there being no permission to stay, either concerning applications under examination (80.8 %) or rejected ones (17.1 %).

Figure 7: Reasons for outgoing take charge and take back requests, EU-27, 2019
(%)
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 EU 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 2019, Italy (35 659) and Germany (22 301) made the largest number of decisions on incoming requests (see Figure 8), with Italy accepting 79.0 % of the requests it received and Germany 61.2 % (see also Figure 10). A further 16 EU Member States took more than 1 000 decisions on Dublin requests in 2019. Among the remaining eight Member States (no data for Czechia), Cyprus took the fewest decisions (99).

Figure 8: Decisions on incoming requests, 2019
(number)
Source: Eurostat (migr_dubdi)

Looking at outgoing requests, in 2019, France (44 700) and Germany (42 857) received the largest number of decisions (see Figure 9), with 66.6 % of the requests from France being accepted and 67.4 % of those from Germany (see also Figure 10). A further eight EU Member States also received at least 1 000 decisions on their outgoing Dublin requests in 2019. Among the 16 remaining Member States who received less than 1 000 decisions on their requests (no data for Czechia), Bulgaria, Cyprus (2018 data), Slovakia, the Baltic Member States and Spain received less than 100 decisions on their outgoing requests.

Figure 9: Decisions on outgoing requests, 2019
(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 2019 on their outgoing requests were accepted, the exceptions being Spain, Greece, Slovakia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Cyprus (2018 data) and Croatia. By contrast, more than three quarters of decisions in 2019 on outgoing requests from Latvia, the Netherlands and Portugal were accepted.

Figure 10: Acceptance rates of requests, 2019
(%)
Source: Eurostat (migr_dubdi) and (migr_dubdo)

For decisions on incoming requests, the situation was somewhat more varied. In six EU Member States, less than half of the decisions in 2019 on incoming requests were accepted, with this share around one third in Luxembourg and Bulgaria and as low as 15.3 % in Hungary and 5.1 % in Greece. The Netherlands, Estonia, Lithuania and Portugal reported the highest proportions of acceptances among decisions taken in 2019 on incoming requests, all above 90 %, with the proportion in Latvia (88.2 %) just below this level.

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. Information is presented 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 2019, there were 7 564 cases of the sovereignty clause being applied in the EU-27 (excluding Czechia, Estonia, Italy and Cyprus). Germany reported 3 070 of these, close to two fifths (40.6 %) of the total — see Figure 11. Only three other Member States reported more than 100 cases of the sovereignty clause being invoked — the Netherlands (1 717, 22.7 % of the total), France (1 500, 19.8 %) and Belgium (1 000, 13.2 %) — while the next highest numbers were 85 cases in Croatia and 73 cases in Sweden.

Figure 11: Persons for whom the sovereignty clause was applied, 2019
(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 69 457 unilateral decisions were taken concerning responsibility by default in the EU-27 in 2019 (including incomplete data for Germany and excluding Czechia, Estonia, Italy and Cyprus; see Figure 12 for details). Four Member States dominated this total, with 24 919 such decisions in Sweden (35.9 % of the total), 16 267 in Belgium (23.4 %), 13 228 in the Netherlands (19.0 %) and 11 127 in France (16.0 %). Malta recorded 2 061 such decisions, while Denmark and Romania recorded 636 and 474 such decisions respectively; in the other EU Member States for which data are available the number was below 300. In the EU-27 the distinction between the three types of default responsibility mainly reflects the relative significance of these types in the four Member States whose data dominate the EU-27 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 more than two thirds (67.9 %) of default decisions. By contrast, in Sweden, the Netherlands and Belgium the main underlying cause was that no prior criteria were applicable (another Member State could not be identified as responsible), accounting for 97.4 % of cases in Sweden, 95.7 % in the Netherlands and 85.4 % in Belgium.

Figure 12: Unilateral decisions to take responsibility for a person by default, 2019
(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 EU 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 six 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 2019, while Figures 15 and 16 provide information on the duration within which transfers took place once a decision had been taken.

In 2019, 21 876 incoming transfers were reported by the EU Member States as well as 23 737 outgoing transfers; note that both of these totals are based on an incomplete total, excluding Czechia (for which data are not available) for both flows as well as Cyprus for outgoing transfers.

The largest numbers of outgoing transfers were recorded by Germany (8 423), France (5 312), Greece (2 546), and the Netherlands (2 370), while Austria, Sweden and Belgium also recorded more than 500 outgoing transfers (see Figure 13), as did Switzerland (2018 data) among the non-member countries shown in Figure 13.

By far the largest numbers of incoming transfers were recorded by Germany (6 086) and Italy (5 864), while France and the Netherlands also recorded more than 1 000 incoming transfers, as did Switzerland.

Figure 13: Implemented transfers, 2019
(number)
Source: Eurostat (migr_dubti) and (migr_dubto)

The largest absolute differences between the numbers of incoming and outgoing transfers were recorded in Italy (5 636), Spain (807) and Poland (636) among those Member States with more incoming transfers and in France (2 646), Greece (2 513), Germany (2 337) and the Netherlands (1 248) among those with more outgoing transfers.

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-27, this rate was 26.9 % in 2019 for incoming transfers/accepted incoming requests (excluding Czechia) and 27.8 % for outgoing transfers/accepted outgoing requests (excluding Czechia and Cyprus). Five EU Member States reported an outgoing rate that was equal to or in excess of 100 %: Lithuania (157.1 %), Cyprus (142.9 %; 2018 data), Greece (138.8 %), Bulgaria (133.3 %) and Hungary (116.7 %). The incoming rate peaked among the Member States at 54.7 % in Luxembourg, although it was higher (59.6 %) in the United Kingdom.

Figure 14: Rate of implemented transfers, 2019
(%)
Source: Eurostat (migr_dubdi), (migr_dubdo), (migr_dubti) and (migr_dubto)

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 actually being 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 EU 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 18 months if the person concerned absconds.

The EU Member States (excluding Czechia and Portugal for which data are not available) reported that on average just over three quarters (76 %) of the incoming transfers that took place in 2019 were completed within six months of an incoming request being accepted, with 16 % completed within a further six months (between 7 and 12 months in total) and the remaining 8 % 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: Cyprus and Hungary each reported one transfer and that this was completed within six months. In every Member State for which data are available, more than three fifths of all incoming transfers were completed within six months. Around one quarter (26 %) of incoming transfers took between 13 and 18 months to complete in Croatia and this share was more than one fifth (22 %) in Romania.

Figure 15: Duration of transfers for incoming transfers, 2019
(%)
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. Italy reported the lowest share of outgoing transfers completed within six months (54 % of 228 outgoing transfers) while Germany reported that just under three fifths (59 %) of its 8 423 transfers were completed within this duration. Ireland (68 %) and the Netherlands (79 %) were the only other EU Member States (for which data are available) to report that less than four fifths of outgoing transfers were completed within six months. In fact, there were eight Member States where all (100 %) outgoing transfers were implemented within six months.

Figure 16: Duration of transfers for outgoing transfers, 2019
(%)
Source: Eurostat (migr_dubto)

Dublin requests and asylum applications

In 2019, there were 698 760 applications for asylum in the EU-27; excluding data from Czechia and Cyprus (in order to get a figure comparable with the data for Dublin requests) there were 683 190 applications and 142 494 outgoing requests through the Dublin procedure, a ratio of 1 request for 4.8 applications. In other words, for every 100 applications, 21 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 an EU 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 2019 there were just seven outgoing Dublin requests and 117 800 asylum applications; in other words the ratio was almost zero. Cyprus also had a low ratio in 2018: an average of two Dublin requests for every 100 applications. Lithuania, Bulgaria, Latvia, Poland, Greece, Italy and Romania all averaged between 3 and 9 Dublin requests for every 100 asylum applications. At the other end of the scale, the Netherlands and Ireland averaged 37 outgoing Dublin requests for every 100 asylum applications, with higher ratios in Hungary (an average of 40 per 100 applications), Luxembourg (42 per 100 applications) and Belgium (43 per 100 applications).

Figure 17: Number of outgoing Dublin requests relative to the number of asylum applications, 2019
(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 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 EU Member State and outgoing requests sent by another. Asymmetries may exist for a number of reasons.

EU 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 EU 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 EU 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 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 EU 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 EU 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 Member States apply the Dublin Regulation, as do the EFTA countries.

The Dublin procedure establishes the principle that only one EU 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).

Direct access to
Other articles
Tables
Database
Dedicated section
Publications
Methodology
Legislation
Visualisations
External links





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 refers to the number of requests sent from the reporting country (to all partner countries), while the number of incoming requests refers 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 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)