Asylum is a form of protection, granted to someone who is in danger of being persecuted on grounds of gender, race, nationality, religion, membership of a particular group or political opinion in their country of origin or residence. Asylum in the EU is defined according to the UN Geneva Refugee Convention as refugee status.
- The Dublin III Regulation, also known as the “Dublin procedure,” is the legal basis when determining the member state responsible for examining an asylum application lodged in one of the member states by a third country national or a stateless person. It covers 32 countries: the EU member states, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. The regulation provides for the transfer of asylum-seekers to the Member State responsible under the Dublin rules.
- Requesting another Dublin country to take charge of an application must be made within 3 months from the date of the initial application. If the 3-month period passes the responsibility lies with the receiving Member State. The requested country must give a decision no later than 2 months from the date on which the request was received.
- The Dublin III Regulation fights against the phenomenon known as “refugees in orbit”: asylum-seekers for which no Member State takes responsibility.
- Some lawyers argued that the Home Office (in the UK) ignored the right of refugees to be reunited with family members already in the UK. The court in the UK has agreed, that if a person has already been granted asylum or has evidence of a written claim to asylum, it is sufficient to prove that they had initially sought safety in that particular country.
- Danish parliament approves plan to seize assets from refugees: a new law allows police to search asylum seekers to confiscate any non-essential items, such as cash and valuables, that are worth more than 10.000 kroner (~ 950 euros). Under this new law, asylum seekers will be prevented from applying to be reunited with their children for three years and the Syrian war refugees will only be given one year of protection.
- The Czech and Slovakian prime ministers condemned Greece for its inability to prevent hundreds of thousands of refugees from moving onwards to northern European countries.
- In 2015, Germany received the highest number of asylum applications, that is 476,000 by the end of December.
- According to Eurostat, the number of people applying for asylum in Europe was 1,294,000, most of them coming from Syria, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Iraq, Albania, Pakistan, Eritrea, Nigeria, Serbia and Ukraine.
by Iulia Matei