Magazine article European Social Policy

Asylum : Sharpston on Obligation to Guarantee Minimum Reception Conditions

Magazine article European Social Policy

Asylum : Sharpston on Obligation to Guarantee Minimum Reception Conditions

Article excerpt

When an asylum seeker arrives in an EU country, that country is obliged to guarantee him material reception conditions. This still applies when said member state plans to transfer the asylum seeker to another EU country, as the Dublin II Regulation allows. In substance, this is the opinion of Eleanor Sharpston, the advocate-general of the EU Court of Justice,a in a case between the French state and two French organisations in charge of refugees, CIMADE and Groupe d'information et de soutien des immigres (GISTI). The court must answer a question about procedure. CIMADE and GISTI jointly presented an application for the annulment of a 3 November 2009 inter-ministerial circular (the Tideover' circular), under which applicants for asylum whose application was to be examined elsewhere in the EU are not entitled to a financial allowance.

Sharpston recalls that according to Dublin II, only one country is responsible for an asylum application - and that is the one in which the application was first made (ie the country of arrival). Yet, she considers that this does not prevent the second state from taking its own responsibility. Thus, the advocate-general has proposed to the Luxembourg judges that they respond that the minimum standards for the reception of asylum seekers required in the 2003 directive - ie housing, food, clothing, whether provided in kind or "as financial allowances or in vouchers" - apply "to all asylum seekers who have applied for asylum in the host member state, notwithstanding that that state may have decided, under the Dublin II Regulation, to refer the application to another member state which it considers should be responsible for examining the application". …

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