Migration and Home Affairs

Country responsible for asylum application (Dublin)

Every single asylum application lodged within EU territory needs to be examined - each EU country must be able to determine if and when it is responsible for handling an asylum claim.

What is the Dublin Regulation?

The Dublin Regulation establishes the Member State responsible for the examination of the asylum application. The criteria for establishing responsibility run, in hierarchical order, from family considerations, to recent possession of visa or residence permit in a Member State, to whether the applicant has entered EU irregularly, or regularly.

Experience of the previous system has however shown the need to better address situations of particular pressure on Member States' reception capacities and asylum systems.

Key achievements

The new Dublin contains sound procedures for the protection of asylum applicants and improves the system’s efficiency through:

  • An early warning, preparedness and crisis management mechanism, geared to addressing the root dysfunctional causes of national asylum systems or problems stemming from particular pressures.
  • A series of provisions on protection of applicants, such as compulsory personal interview, guarantees for minors (including a detailed description of the factors that should lay at the basis of assessing a child's best interests) and extended possibilities of reunifying them with relatives.
  • The possibility for appeals to suspend the execution of the transfer for the period when the appeal is judged, together with the guarantee of the right for a person to remain on the territory pending the decision of a court on the suspension of the transfer pending the appeal.
  • An obligation to ensure legal assistance free of charge upon request.
  • A single ground for detention in case of risk of absconding; strict limitation of the duration of detention.
  • The possibility for asylum seekers that could in some cases be considered irregular migrants and returned under the Return Directive, to be treated under the Dublin procedure - thus giving these persons more protection than the Return Directive.
  • An obligation to guarantee right to appeal against transfer decision.
  • More legal clarity of procedures between Member States - e.g. exhaustive and clearer deadlines. The entire Dublin procedure cannot last longer than 11 months to take charge of a person, or 9 months to take him/her back (except for absconding or where the person is imprisoned).

Evaluation of Dublin III Regulation

In June 2015 the Commission committed studies on the external evaluation on the implementation of the Dublin III Regulation and an evaluation report in view of the reform of the Dublin system as foreseen in the European Agenda on Migration: