ECJ clears the way for Germany to deport asylum-seekers to other EU countries
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has cleared the way for Germany to deport asylum-seekers to other EU member states.
Judges in Germany had asked the ECJ to interpret the bloc’s asylum rules to clear up doubts about when deportations could occur in several cases.
One case involved a Gambian man who had lodged an asylum application in Italy before travelling to Germany and filing another claim there. He argued he should not be sent back to Italy because of poor conditions for refugees there.
Other cases involved a Palestinian who came to Germany via Bulgaria and a Chechen who entered via Poland
Judges in the Luxembourg-based court ruled that weak social benefit systems and living conditions in certain countries were not grounds to block transfers.
In it’s ruling the ECJ said that:
• Shortcomings in the welfare system of a member state should not prevent asylum-seekers from being deported there.
• Exceptions apply only in extreme cases, where the individual is deprived of the “most basic needs, such as feeding, washing and finding shelter,” the judges said.
• This does not cover “significant poverty” or a wish to have German social standards.
• The judges pointed out that the EU asylum system was based on mutual trust and that decisions taken by EU states should respect human rights.
• They also ruled that asylum claims could be rejected in cases where the applicant already enjoys subsidiary protection in another EU country.
Germany currently deports very few, if any, asylum-seekers to other EU countries, according to the Interior Ministry but the ruling most probably is going to change all that.