Belgium: Council of Alien Law Litigation suspends Dublin transfer to Hungary

Thursday, June 25, 2015

This case relates to an Afghan national who claimed asylum in Belgium in April 2015. His claim was refused by the Aliens Office under the Dublin III Regulation and his transfer to Hungary was ordered. The applicant subsequently lodged a request with the Council of Alien Law Litigation (CALL) to suspend this transfer under the ‘extremely urgent procedure’.
The applicant had claimed asylum in Hungary in February 2015. After some days living on the street, he travelled – through various European countries – to Belgium. The Hungarian authorities agreed to take back the asylum seeker pursuant article 18(1)b) of the Dublin III Regulation. In the ‘take back’ agreement, the Hungarian authorities specified that the asylum seeker disappeared shortly after claiming asylum and therefore, his asylum procedure was ceased in April 2015.
The CALL observed conflicting statements in the Hungarian take back agreement. On the one hand, they agreed to take back the applicant pursuant to article 18(1)b) of the Dublin III Regulation, which implied that the applicant’s asylum procedure was ongoing. On the other hand, the Hungarian authorities explicitly stated that the asylum procedure of the applicant had ceased.
Based on the latest AIDA country report on Hungary, the CALL noted that an asylum claim can be considered a ‘subsequent’ claim, even if the grounds of the first asylum claim were never examined. If such a subsequent claim is found inadmissible or manifestly unfounded, no suspensive appeal is provided. The applicant argued that, if returned to Hungary, he ran the risk that no EU member state would examine the grounds of his asylum claim.
Based on the information provided, the CALL found it unclear what constituted a ‘ceased’ asylum case and what is considered a subsequent claim. Furthermore, the decision to transfer the applicant to Hungary was based on conflicting information. Therefore, the Belgian authorities could not prima facie presume that the asylum claim of the applicant would be treated by the standards of EU law. As such it suspended the transfer decision.
The original judgement (in Dutch) can be found here.
ELENA Weekly Legal Update would like to thank Ruben Wissing and Evelien Vandeven for notifying us of this case and providing an English summary. 

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
Procedural guarantees
Request to take back
Right to remain pending a decision (Suspensive effect)
Subsequent application