…..UNHCR agrees with States and EU bodies that strengthened cooperation on asylum in the Union is necessary to build the trust required to operate a truly common asylum system, where Member States, individually and together, fulfil the protection promise set out in the 1951 Convention and ensure the right to asylum which is guaranteed in the Charter of Fundamental Rights.
Dublin II Regulation Important Amendments: The 2011 M.S.S. vs.Belgium and Greece ruling of the European Court of Human Rights highlights the need, not only to reinforce the asylum systems in certain States, but also to review how the Dublin system can and should be adjusted to ensure it operates in full compliance with fundamental rights. An evaluation mechanism may provide a way to detect emerging or current gaps in national systems which limit or preclude access to a fair and efficient asylum procedure and protection for those in need. Such gaps must be addressed in a timely and effective manner. UNHCR would welcome further efforts and dialogue on ways to identify and respond to such challenges. UNHCR encourages the Danish Presidency to broaden the discussion on evaluation and solidarity measures, which may yield progress not only in present negotiations on the recast proposals, but also as tools to complement and support the effective running of the CEAS in the future.
Concerning other aspects of the Dublin II Regulation, UNHCR considers that certain amendments are required to ensure correct application of the Regulation. Among them are the proposal for a personal interview for all applicants subject to Dublin; and for information to be provided to an applicant about the purpose, consequences, operation and deadlines of the Regulation. The proposed recast also includes a broader definition of family members. Such changes, in UNHCR’s view, could significantly reduce the secondary movements of asylum-seekers within Europe that the Regulation seeks to address. By removing some of the incentives to move, including misunderstandings about the consequences of the Regulation or the desire to reunite with family members in Europe, these changes could bring down both the human and financial costs of the Dublin system. A more inclusive application to the Dublin II Regulation would mean that asylum-seekers are not just transferred to the country they first entered. Access to an effective remedy and sufficient time to lodge an appeal, as is required in the recast proposal, also help to ensure the correct application of the Regulation. Detention for persons subject to Dublin is also an important area requiring more limitations and clarity.
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