Amnesty International and ECRE both reiterate call on European states not to send asylum seekers back to Bulgaria under the Dublin Regulation

Friday, April 11, 2014

Both Amnesty International and ECRE have recently reiterated their call on States not to send asylum seekers back to Bulgaria under the Dublin procedure until the conditions for asylum seekers in the country improve substantially and the Bulgarian authorities are able to comply in practice with their obligations under EU and international law. According to ECRE’s statement, EU Member States and other countries participating in the Dublin system must assume responsibility for examining the asylum application of the asylum seekers concerned, in accordance with Article 3(2) and Article 17 of the recast Dublin Regulation.

While acknowledging and welcoming the efforts made by all actors involved to improve the situation for asylum seekers in Bulgaria, ECRE considers that sufficient safeguards are still not in place to ensure that asylum seekers’ fundamental rights are respected and protected in practice. Moreover, according to ECRE, by not returning asylum seekers to Bulgaria at this time, Member States can show solidarity and allow Bulgaria to further strengthen and improve its asylum system.

During a visit to Bulgaria in March, Amnesty International found that, despite some progress, living conditions in some of the reception centres continue to be inadequate and asylum seekers in Bulgaria continue to be routinely detained.

UNHCR is expected to announce their updated assessment of the Bulgarian asylum system shortly.

Read Amnesty's report and press release and ECRE's statement.

11 April 2014

This item was reproduced with the permission of ECRE from the weekly ELENA legal update supported by the Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Funding Programme and distributed by email. The purpose of these updates is to inform asylum lawyers and legal organizations supporting asylum seekers and refugees of recent developments in the field of asylum law. Please note that the information provided is taken from publicly available information on the internet. Every reasonable effort is made to make the content accurate and up to date at the time each item is published but no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by ECRE, the IRC or its partners.

Dublin Transfer
Reception conditions