Personal Immigration

Criticism of the Dublin Regulation

On the 18th November 2013, the Dublin Regulation, which identifies which European State is responsible for deciding on an asylum application, celebrated its 10th anniversary.

A comparative study on how this Regulation is applied by States, entitled ‘The Dublin II Regulation: Lives on Hold’, has claimed that the Dublin system continues to fail both refugees and Member States.

The report reveals the harsh consequences of the Dublin system for asylum seekers whereby families are separated, people are left destitute or detained and despite the objective of the Regulation, access to an asylum procedure is not always guaranteed.

According to the report, asylum seekers in the Dublin procedure are frequently treated as a secondary category of persons granted fewer entitlements in terms of reception conditions.

In addition, fewer than half of the agreed Dublin transfers are actually carried out, suggesting a vast amount of wasted bureaucracy. However, no comprehensive data on the financial cost of applying the Dublin Regulation has ever been published.

The soon to be adopted Dublin III Regulation contains some significant areas of improvement, such as the right to a personal interview, but maintains the underlying principles of the Dublin system and will not address all these deficiencies. The application of the Regulation will require close monitoring from the European Commission in order to ensure its correct implementation by all Member States, says the report.

Ultimately, the underlying principles of the Dublin Regulation need to be fundamentally revised to design a more humane and equitable system that considers the individual case of asylum seekers and their connections with particular Member States, and therefore favours refugees' integration prospects in Europe.

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