First migrant whose refugee application was rejected in an EU country to be returned to Greece by end-October

The return to Greece of the first migrant whose refugee application was rejected by another EU country will take place by the end of October, following the provisions of the reactivated Dublin Regulation, Greek Asylum Service sources said to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency.

Greece has accepted the request made by Germany. The applicant, a third-country national, had received a visa to travel to Greece and then went to Germany where he applied for asylum. According to the Dublin Regulation, the state responsible for examining the case is the state which granted the visa – in this case, Greece.

The Dublin Regulation on the Return of Migrants and Asylum Seekers was reactivated for Greece on 15 March 2017 and concerns individuals who entered the European Union from the Greek territory and were arrested in other EU members-states. The Regulation has not applied in Greece since 2011, following a ruling by the European Court of Justice, on the grounds that the country could not meet its obligations. However, for any return requested, there should be prior consultation between the EU state concerned and the Greek authorities.

According to the Asylum Service, by the end of September 2017 the country had received 1,003 return requests from the following countries: Austria (4 requests), Belgium (24), Czech Republic (1), Estonia (1), France (6), Germany (891), Luxembourg (1), the Netherlands (3), Norway (24), Slovenia (5), Sweden
(3), Switzerland (39), and United Kingdom (1).

Of these requests, 486 have been rejected, 35 have been accepted, 38 have been withdrawn and 444 are pending.

The 35 requests accepted by Greece come from Belgium (3), Germany (28), Switzerland (2), Norway (1) and the Netherlands (1).