The Dublin system in the first half of 2017

An AIDA statistical update illustrates significant discrepancies in the use of the Dublin Regulation allocating responsibility for asylum seekers across European countries. The number of Dublin procedures initiated in the first half of 2017 vary from only 5 outgoing requests in Spain to nearly 30,000 in Germany.

The main operators of the Dublin system were

  • Germany with 29,378 requests and 3,043 transfers;
  • Greece with 7,267 requests and 1,866 transfers;
  • Austria with 6,000 requests and 2,058 transfers; and
  • Switzerland with 4,232 requests and 1,259 transfers.

Figures show an increase of outgoing transfers for most countries operating the Dublin Regulation. While the rate of Germany rose from 7.1% to 10.3%, Austria marked a substantial increase from 12.1% to 34.3%. Germany and Austria have transferred almost as many asylum seekers in the first semester of the year as they did in the entire year 2016, while Greece has transferred nearly double the number of persons transferred last year.

Germany has also been the main country at the receiving end of Dublin procedure, counting 4,144 incoming Dublin transfers. The Dublin procedure in Germany has been heavily debated in recent months due to a change of practice vis-à-vis requests from Greece. The number of requests issued by Greece dropped from 2,514 in the first quarter of 2017 to 953 in the second quarter, as did the number of actual transfers – from 837 to 379. All of these transfers concerned family reunification or the application of the dependent persons and humanitarian clauses. The reduction of Dublin procedures stems from a controversial agreement between Germany and Greece to slow down the rate of family reunification.

The situation of incoming Dublin procedures to Hungary also merits closer consideration. While it remains among the main addressees of Dublin requests so far in 2017, Hungary has received far less requests this year (4,324) compared to last year; when it counted as many as 26,698. Its main incoming requests have been sent by Germany, Austria and France. However, only 128 people have been transferred to Hungary during the first half of the year.

About AIDA

The Asylum Information Database (AIDA) is a database managed by the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), containing information on asylum procedures, reception conditions, detenti