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Majority of requests to transfer asylum seekers to other EU countries lead to nothing

Over eighty percent of all Dutch requests to send asylum seekers back to the country where they should have requested asylum lead to nothing. This is shown by recent figures that Dutch broadcasting corporation NOS requested from the Ministry of Justice. That percentage applies to 2020, the year for which all procedures have been concluded. The vast majority of asylum seekers that, based on the Dublin Accord, should have requested asylum somewhere else disappear in illegality, according to a statement from the ministry.

‘Asylum seekers that have to go to another Member State but do not want to, can go into hiding to prevent the transfer from taking place,’ says Mark Klaasen, Assistant Professor at Leiden University and member of the Advisory Council on Migration in an interview with NOS. If the transfer has not been completed within 18 months, the Dublin claim expires and that person becomes eligible to request asylum in the Netherlands. ‘I sometimes get the idea that Member States don't really mind’, says Klaassen. ‘If an asylum seeker has left the procedure and the reception centre as a result, then good riddance.’

For some countries, such as Greece, Croatia and Malta, the judge has decided that the Netherlands cannot send asylum seekers back because the reception facilities are inhumane or because asylum seekers will be sent back to the border straightaway.

What also makes transfers more difficult: the possibilities to restrict and monitor asylum seekers are limited. ‘They have done nothing wrong’, explains Klaasen. ‘They will often try again in another Member State. On the one hand, you can hold it against an asylum seeker that they request asylum everywhere, but on the other hand you can also blame the country for passing the asylum seeker along, so to speak.’

The NOS broadcast in Dutch


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