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The Dublin Regulation is under pressure

The Dublin Regulation is under pressure. The Regulation should ensure that refugees are able to apply for asylum in the first country they enter. This pressure is nothing new, says Jorrit Rijpma, Professor of European Law, to Dutch newspaper the Volkskrant.

The reason for the article in the Volkskrant is a ruling by the Dutch Council of State. The highest administrative court ruled that the Netherlands can continue sending refugees back to Bulgaria, despite evidence that Bulgaria is carrying out illegal ‘pushbacks’ which are endangering refugees.

According to Jorrit Rijpma, the Dublin Regulation has been under pressure for some time now because countries do not always comply with the legislation. Rijpma: ‘According to settled case law of the European courts, you can't send people back to countries where they're not assisted and accommodated or where conditions are so bad that they would be considered degrading.’ He continues: ‘If the treatment of an asylum seeker in another Member State violates human rights, the Dutch court has no other choice but to prohibit the transfer.’

The Regulation has been unfair since the start, according to Rijpma. Countries at the outer borders of the EU have a disproportionally large responsibility, because many asylum seekers enter via those countries (Volkskrant). ‘Rutte once called this geographically unfortunate. Nevertheless, we now see that if these countries won't adhere to EU law, the Netherlands will also have a problem’, Rijpma notes.

You can read the entire article (in Dutch) in the Volkskrant.

Photo: Sébastien Goldberg via Unsplash

What is a pushback? A pushback is a form of illegal deportation. Pushback occurs when refugees are sent back illegally after arrival, or before they reach a European border.  Click here for more information about pushbacks (in Dutch).

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