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Criteria for rejecting unfounded applications for asylum

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1) OBJECTIVE

To discourage abuse of asylum procedures by third-country nationals.

2) UNION MEASURE

Resolution of 30 November 1992 on manifestly unfounded applications for asylum.

Resolution of 30 November 1992 on a harmonised approach to questions concerning host third countries.

Conclusions of 30 November 1992 on countries in which there is generally no serious risk of persecution.

3) CONTENTS

Faced with a rising number of applicants for asylum at the beginning of the 1990s, the Member States of the EU felt it necessary to lay down common principles to facilitate determination procedures and to reduce the burden for national authorities represented by the substantial number of manifestly unfounded applications, which delayed the recognition of refugees in genuine need of protection. To that end, they adopted various resolutions (also known as the "London resolutions") and the conclusions of 30 November 1992.

Manifestly unfounded applications for asylum

Applications for asylum which do not meet the criteria laid down by the 1951 Geneva Convention are regarded as unfounded:

  • either because there is no substance to the applicant's claim to fear persecution in his own country or because he could obtain effective protection in another part of his own country;
  • or because the claim is based on deliberate deception or is an abuse of asylum procedures (false identity, forged documents, false representations, application in another country using another identity, claim made to forestall an impending expulsion measure, etc.).

These applications may be considered under accelerated procedures, without a full examination, or be rejected very rapidly on objective grounds. Nevertheless, provision is made for procedural guarantees, in particular a face-to-face interview with a qualified official and appeal or review procedures.

According to the Member States, accelerated procedures can be applied in other urgent cases where the applicant has committed a serious offence in the territory of the Member State or for reasons of public security.

Host third countries

The principle of the host third country allows the Member States, where appropriate, to send applicants for asylum to that destination after an accelerated examination of their application. The identification of the host third country precedes the substantive examination of the application and applies to all applicants for asylum.

A host third country must offer all the following guarantees to asylum applicants:

  • their life or freedom must not be threatened;
  • they must not be exposed to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment;
  • they must already have been granted protection in the country in question or there must be clear evidence of admissibility;
  • they must be afforded effective protection against refoulement.

Guiding principles were laid down concerning the application of the host third country concept and the procedures under the Dublin Convention.

Concept of "safe" countries

As indicated in point 2, an application for asylum is unfounded if there is no serious risk of persecution in the country of origin. Although the Member States examine all applications for asylum individually, provision is made for accelerated procedures where the applicant comes from a country regarded as "safe".

Each Member State determines the countries it regards as safe and informs the other Member States. The indicative factors that it may take into account for the purpose of this assessment are as follows:

  • numbers of refugees and recognition rates over the last few years;
  • observance of human rights (adherence to appropriate international instruments and, above all, how the country meets those obligations in practice);
  • democratic institutions (elections, political pluralism, freedom of expression, legal avenues of protection and redress);
  • stability (assessment of the prospect for dramatic change).

4) DEADLINE FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF THE LEGISLATION IN THE MEMBER STATES

Not applicable.

5) DATE OF ENTRY INTO FORCE (if different from the above)

Not applicable.

6) REFERENCES

Not published in the Official Journal.

7) FOLLOW-UP WORK

8) IMPLEMENTING MEASURES

 
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