Germany: Berlin Administrative Court ruling on Dublin III case in light of CJEU ruling in X and X

Friday, March 15, 2019

On 15 March 2019, the Berlin Administrative Court released a ruling in a Dublin III family reunification case from Greece to Germany. The case concerned a Syrian family, whose minor son arrived in Germany on 10 October 2015, applied for asylum and was subsequently granted Subsidiary Protection. The minor son’s parents and adult sibling arrived in Greece on 23 October 2017 and declared a desire to reunite with their minor son in Germany.

A Take Charge Request was sent from Greece to Germany under Articles 9 and 17(2) of Regulation (EU) No 604/2013 for the whole family to reunite with the minor son/brother. Following a rejection of the Requests by Germany, a re-examination request was submitted, but not within the foreseen three weeks’ time limit. However, Greece had submitted holding letters in respect of the three cases within the time limit, as provided for under Article 1 (5) of the Implementing Regulation (EC) No 118/2014 amending Article 9 (2) of Regulation (EC) No 343/2003. Germany replied 6 months later, far beyond the two week deadline established in the EU Court of Justice cases of X & X (C-47/17 and C-48/17).

On examination of the case, the Berlin Administrative Court recognized that the ruling in X & X favoured the applicants and concerned a situation in which applicants challenged a transfer. In the instant case, the Court recognized that the time limits would conversely negatively affect the applicants, since the transfer is in their interests, and the application of the procedural rights to time limits would impede their subjective right to family reunification under the Regulation and Article 8 of the ECHR. The Court found that the best interests of the child and the protection of family life should be considered in the application of the time limits.

The Court also ruled with regard to the adult daughter, affirming that she is to be included in the family reunion by a mandatory application of Article 17(2) of the Regulation due to the exceptional humanitarian circumstances and her dependency on her parents.

The Court found the rejection of the Take Charge Requests by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) to be unlawful and ruled that the three Requests should be accepted by the BAMF.

Based on an unofficial translation by the ELENA Weekly Legal Update. Many thanks to Vinzent Vogt, Legal Coordinator at Equal Rights Athens, for bringing our attention to this case.

This item was reproduced with the permission of ECRE from the ELENA Weekly Legal Update. 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.


Dublin Transfer
Family reunification
Family unity (right to)
Request that charge be taken