At the Tampere European Council Meeting of October 1999, Member States agreed to work together to create a Common European Asylum System (CEAS). The goal of this system is to harmonize asylum policy in Europe, including asylum procedures and reception conditions, and to ultimately assure that conditions for asylum seekers is the same throughout Europe.
In order to achieve this goal, the EU adopted a key legislative instrument known as the Dublin Regulation, which governs the allocation of responsibility for asylum seekers. Under this Regulation, only one Member State can be responsible for an application. The responsible Member State is determined through the criteria laid down in the Dublin Regulation. Responsibility usually falls to the State through which the asylum seeker first entered the EU. If a Member State deems that another State is responsible for processing an asylum claim, the Regulation provides for the transfer of an asylum seeker back to that State.
This system is based on the underlying presumption that asylum standards and procedures are harmonized throughout Europe, and that asylum seekers receive the same treatment in all other Member States. However, since 2006, a stream of reports has been published by key stakeholders in Greece, specifically attesting to the shortcomings of the Greek asylum system. In 2011, the European Court of Human Rights determined that the transfer of an Afghan asylum seeker back to Greece from Belgium was in violation of the European Convention of Human Rights, due to the appalling conditions for asylum seekers in Greece.
The situation for asylum seekers in Greece challenges the feasibility of harmonizing asylum policy in Europe. In addition, it raises the question: can the transfer of an asylum seeker under the Dublin Regulation amount to a violation of the international principle of non-refoulement?
Expanding on the most recent reports from stakeholders in Greece, this thesis addresses the disturbing contradiction between the goals of the Dublin Regulation and the human rights situation for asylum seekers in Greece.
|School:||The American University of Paris (France)|
|Source:||MAI 56/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Asylum, Crisis, Dublin, Gap, Greek, Public, Rights|
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