Tuesday

24th Apr 2018

EU court actions on asylum to multiply

The number of member states threatened with court action on how they apply EU asylum rules is likely to increase.

The Brussels executive earlier this week sent letters warning member states to comply with the rules or risk facing a panel of judges at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Natasha Bertaud, a commission spokesperson, told reporters on Tuesday (1 September) that president Jean-Claude Juncker had his services send a new series of “administrative letters”.

She said some had been sent to member states with no pending infringement cases.

“I cannot go into more detail as these are obviously pre-infringement proceedings and this is not something that we generally comment on publicly”, she said.

The European Commission already has 32 infringement cases against 18 member states on how they apply EU-level asylum rules.

Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden are all under commission scrutiny for violations committed against the so-called Common European Asylum System.

The Common European Asylum System is composed of the Dublin regulation, the asylum procedures directive, the reception conditions directive, the qualification directive, and the long-term residence directive.

The move follows expanded oversight powers on justice and home affairs areas by the commission since the start of December last year.

Migration and Schengen pressure

“For Schengen [EU passport-free zone] to work, these rules need to be applied”, Bertaud said.

The threat of reintroducing internal border controls was made by the Austrian and Italian ministers of foreign affairs last week.

Austria has since stepped up security checks on its borders after 71 people, thought to be Syrian refugees, were found dead in the back of a lorry.

Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel made similar comments on free-movement in Berlin.

"If we don't succeed in fairly distributing refugees then of course the Schengen question will be on the agenda for many,” she said on Monday.

The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Poland are meeting in Prague on Friday and are expected to voice their opposition to binding quota systems to relocate asylum seekers throughout EU states.

But pressure is mounting for all member states to take in more.

Some 185,000 first-time asylum seekers applied for protection in the European Union in the first three months of this year.

Estonia, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, and Slovakia took in zero percent of the EU total during the same period, according to Eurostat.

Most ended up in Germany and Hungary.

Frontex, the EU border agency, said more than 23,000 arrived in Greece by sea last week, nearly 50 percent more than in the previous week.

Over 50 people were found dead in the hull of a wooden boat off the coast of Libya last week.

“This was a very dark week. We are deeply saddened by the deaths of migrants near the Libyan shore and in the lorry in Austria”, said Frontex chief Fabrice Leggeri.

Trains packed with migrants arrive in Vienna

Hungary has said Berlin should clarify the legal status of migrants travelling within the EU, as thousands of refugees in Budapest demand to travel to Germany.

Feature

Hungary activists defiant after 'Soros Mercenaries' attack

Immediately after Orban's landslide victory in April, a list of so-called 'Soros mercenaries' was published by pro-government media. Those on it - mostly human rights defenders, activists and Orban critics - are now anxious but vow to continue.

Feature

'Flobert' guns - Europe's latest terror loophole

Project Safte, an international research project funded by the European Commission, has revealed a loophole in the EU firearms directive that is being exploited by criminals and possibly terrorists.

Feature

'Flobert' guns - Europe's latest terror loophole

Project Safte, an international research project funded by the European Commission, has revealed a loophole in the EU firearms directive that is being exploited by criminals and possibly terrorists.

News in Brief

  1. Far-right attack migrants on Greek island
  2. Merkel defends accepting UN refugees
  3. EU commissioner plans Malta 'money laundering' inspection
  4. Survey: Half of high polluting farms receive CAP subsidies
  5. Commission will 'not shy away' from Malta killing repercussions
  6. EU Commission opens probe on Alitalia state loan
  7. Paris suspect given 20-year sentence for Brussels shoot-out
  8. Merkel and Pena Nieto praise EU-Mexico trade agreement

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of Ministers12 Recommendations for Nordic Leadership on Climate and Environment
  2. Macedonian Human Rights MovementOxford Professor Calls for an End to the Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  3. ACCAPeople Who Speak-Up Should Feel Safe to Do So
  4. Mission of China to the EUProgress on China-EU Cooperation
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersWorld's Energy Ministers to Meet in Oresund in May to Discuss Green Energy
  6. ILGA EuropeParabéns! Portugal Votes to Respect the Rights of Trans and Intersex People
  7. Mission of China to the EUJobs, Energy, Steel: Government Work Report Sets China's Targets
  8. Martens CentreJoin Us at NET@WORK2018 Featuring Debates on Migration, Foreign Policy, Populism & Disinformation
  9. European Jewish CongressKantor Center Annual Report on Antisemitism Worldwide - The Year the Mask Came Off
  10. UNICEFCalls for the Protection of Children in the Gaza Strip
  11. Mission of China to the EUForeign Minister Wang Yi Highlights Importance of China-EU Relations
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersImmigration and Integration in the Nordic Region - Getting the Facts Straight

Latest News

  1. Juncker delays air quality action due to busy agenda
  2. Spain makes bid for EU anti-pirate HQ
  3. How Russian propaganda depicts Europe - should we worry?
  4. MEPs tell Chinese ambassador of concerns on trade
  5. Greenland votes with eye on independence
  6. EU court delivers blow to anti-abortion activists
  7. Hungary activists defiant after 'Soros Mercenaries' attack
  8. European Commission proposes whistleblower protection law