Last Update: 15:54
The European Union has put the “Dublin Treaty” back into effect and is to start sending asylum seekers back to Greece, according to Deutsche Welle.
“Fresh” asylum seekers arriving to Europe via Greece can once again be sent back to the country of entry, under a new EU recommendation, as the “Dublin” system is reinstated.
As of Wednesday, March 15, Greece is to accept refugees and migrants back who turn up in other EU member states as the 28-nation bloc sought a gradual resumption of its “Dublin” asylum system alongside the “Schengen” open-borders regulation.
Explicitly excluded from such returns will be vulnerable asylum applicants, such as unaccompanied children. Applicants who were present in other EU nations before March 15 will “in most cases” still have their applications, the Deutsche Welle report says.
The “Dublin” scheme was suspended in 2011 because of “systemic deficiencies” seen in Greece’s asylum practices by the European Court of Human Rights and the European Court of Justice. Hit by the economic crisis, Greece was deemed incapable of handling mass numbers of asylum applicants.
Germany’s interior ministry said late Tuesday the plan applied to solo asylum seekers, married couples and families “without problem constellations” as well as convicts and persons regarded as Gefährder or potential terrorist threats.
Minister Thomas de Maizière had instructed the Nuremburg-based BAMF federal agency for migrants and refugees to begin implementation of the plan.
On reinstating the “Dublin Treaty,” the European Commission maintains that Greece can now receive back asylum applicants because it has since made “significant progress,” assisted by entities such as the EU’s European Asylum Support Office and non-governmental organizations.
However, the return of migrants and refugees to Greece is under the provision that “applicants should only be transferred if the Greek authorities give individual assurances in each case” that the applicant would be put in appropriate centers and handled on the basis of EU law.
“For the time being, the transfer of vulnerable migrants (especially unaccompanied minors) back to Greece is not recommended,” it said.