Reduction or withdrawal of reception conditions

Bulgaria

Country Report: Reduction or withdrawal of reception conditions Last updated: 21/04/21

Author

Bulgarian Helsinki Committee Visit Website

The reduction of material reception conditions is not possible under the law. Withdrawal is admissible under the law in cases of disappearance of the asylum seeker when the procedure is discontinued.[1]

The SAR applies this ground of withdrawal in practice to persons returned under the Dublin Regulation. In their majority they are refused accommodation in the reception centres, although this approach is usually not applied to families with children, unaccompanied children and other vulnerable applicants, who are provided shelter and food.

Under the law, the directors of transit / reception centres are competent to decide on whether an asylum applicant should be provided accommodation.[2] These decisions should be issued in writing as all other acts of administration, [3] but in practice asylum seekers are informed orally. Nonetheless, the refusal to provide accommodation can be appealed before the relevant Regional Administrative Court within 7 days from the notification. Legal aid is available with regard to representation before the court once the appeal is submitted. In this case, however, asylum seekers face difficulties proving before the court when they have been informed about the accommodation refusal, which may result in cessation of the court proceedings.

Destitution is defined on the basis of the monetary indicator of the national poverty threshold. Presently, this threshold is at to BGN 369, equalling to 188.67 € monthly.[4] The law defines as “basic needs” sufficient food, clothing and housing provided according to the national socio-economic development.[5] The risk of destitution is not formally assessed but the SAR takes it into account in the majority of cases.

Bulgaria does not apply sanctions for serious breaches of the rules of accommodation centres and violent behavior, except for destruction of a reception center’s property, which is sanctioned with a fine between 50 to 200 BGN (25.50-102 €) plus the value of the destroyed property.[6] The grounds laid down in Article 20(2) and (3) of the Recast Reception Conditions Directive are not transposed into national legislation.

Relating to subsequent applicants, see Criteria and Restrictions to Access Reception Conditions.

 

 

[1]           Article 29(8) LAR.

[2]           Article 51(2) LAR.

[3]           Article 59(2) Administrative Procedure Code.

[4]           Council of Ministers, Decision No 265 of 24 September 2020 adopting the 2021 national poverty threshold.

[5]           Article 1(1) Law on Social Assistance.

[6]           Article 93 LAR.

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation