Differential treatment of specific nationalities in the procedure


Country Report: Differential treatment of specific nationalities in the procedure Last updated: 10/07/24


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There is no explicit policy of considering specific nationalities as manifestly well-founded. At most, some nationalities obtain higher rates of protection than the average rate e.g., Syria, or Afghanistan. In 2020, the first instance recognition rate was for 75.9% for Syrians and 63.2% for Afghans. In 2021, this recognition rate was 80.9% for Syrians and 74.9% for Afghans. In 2022, this recognition rate was 89.8% for Syrians, and 69.1% for Afghans


For developments regarding access to asylum and caselaw regarding international protection for Ukrainian nationals, please see the Temporary Protection annex to this report.


Starting from a CNDA judgment of March 2018, Afghan nationals widely benefitted from protection. The CNDA held that the situation of indiscriminate violence in Kabul was of such degree for Article 15(c) to be triggered by a person’s mere presence.[1] However, in a Grand chamber decision of 19 November 2020, the CNDA changed its position, now considering that the level of violence in Kabul was not high enough to justify a protection for all people arriving at airports.[2] This meant that individual circumstances needed to be assessed again and put Afghan nationals at risk of return. Yet, in its country of origin report on the Security situation in Afghanistan of 28 September 2020, the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) – now European Union Asylum Agency (EUAA) – confirmed that the conflict in the country continued to be described as one of the deadliest in the world for civilians and adds that “several sources reported a spike in violence during the first six months of 2020, with an increase in the number of civilian casualties, particularly in the northern and north-eastern regions”.[3]

The situation in Afghanistan changed in 2021 following the Taliban take over in mid-August. Following these events, France evacuated more than 2,600 Afghans who entered the asylum system and obtained protection. At the end of 2021, 2,228 asylum applications from these people have been registered by OFPRA and 1,642 decisions taken according protection at 99,9%.[4] No data is yet available for 2022.

However, this development of the situation also changed the case-law of the CNDA. In September 2021, CNDA decided that subsidiary protection based on the existence of a generalised conflict was no longer applicable as the Taliban takeover had put an end to this conflict.[5] Protection under the Geneva Convention was of course still possible (early 2023 it was granted for example for members of the Tadjike community from Panjshir province and from Andarab district in Baghlan province),[6] but more difficult to obtain.[7] Subsequently, the CNDA took another more nuanced decision: it granted subsidiary protection, for the risk of inhuman and degrading treatment, for a vulnerable young Afghan for whom the risks in the event of return are significant.[8] At the end of the year, CNDA specified that the mere stay in Europe was not sufficient to justify fears in the event of return and to obtain protection.[9] In 2023, the Court reversed its 2021 case law, finding that the situation in several provinces did fall under subsidiary protection (indiscriminate violence).[10]

In addition, the case law that prevented Dublin transfers of Afghan nationals to countries where their asylum applications have been rejected (because of the risk of chain refoulement) was overturned in 2021 by the Council of State which now considers these transfers possible (see Dublin: Suspension of Transfers).


Furthermore, differential treatment of specific nationalities seems to be applied in the framework of ad hoc relocation schemes implemented since June 2018. Following “boat-by-boat” agreements following disembarkations in Italy, Malta and Spain, over 280 persons were relocated to France in 2018.[11] In October 2019, a member of the government stated that more than 600 people had been admitted in France through relocation within a year. At the end of 2019, 366 asylum seekers and 491 unaccompanied minors have been transferred from Greece to France as part of the ‘voluntary relocation scheme from Greece to other European countries’ that started in March 2020.[12] (see also Access to the territory).

All relocated persons have previously undergone interviews with OFPRA, which assesses their need for protection and potential threats to public order. No official data are available about this mechanism or the nationality of the selected persons. However, it appears through communication upon arrival in France from OFII and the Ministry of Interior that relocated persons are mainly from Sudan, Eritrea and Somalia. Following their arrival, these persons are quickly received by OFII and granted refugee status by OFPRA.

Safe country concepts

Asylum seekers that are nationals of countries listed as safe are dealt with most of the time under an accelerated procedure (see Safe Country of Origin). Their access to asylum from detention is also more circumscribed compared to other nationalities (see Registration). The average protection rate for such nationalities was 9.5% in 2021, at first and second instance combined, but there are important variations from one country to another. For example, in 2021, Kosovo had a general protection rate of 16.7%, Albania had a rate of 16.5%, while Bosnia only 2.4%.






[1] CNDA, M. H., Decision No 17045561, 9 March 2018, available in French at: https://bit.ly/43ET4xb.

[2] CNDA, Decision No. 19009476 R, 19 November 2020 available in French at: https://bit.ly/2KCsYXX; CNDA, Decision No. 18054661 R, 19 November 2020, available in French at: https://bit.ly/3d5uJsB.

[3] EASO, Afghanistan Security situation – COI Report, September 2020, available at: https://bit.ly/3aixrJL.

[4] OFPRA, 2021 Activity report, June 2022, available in French at: https://bit.ly/3KHmAKi, 45.

[5] CNDA, 21 September 2021 M. A. No. 18037855 C+, available in French at: https://bit.ly/35msMGA.

[6] CNDA, 20 January 2023, M.A., n°21034662.

[7] See for example : CNDA, 5 November 2021 M. S. No. 20025121 C, available in French at: https://bit.ly/3sVOhpI; CNDA, 8 December 2021 Mme M. No. 21022972 C, available in French at: https://bit.ly/3se858s.

[8] CNDA, 21 September 2021, No. 18037855, available in French at: https://bit.ly/3LRJaiV.

[9] CNDA 29 November 2021 M. A. No. 21025924 C+, available in French at: https://bit.ly/3IjihCn.

[10] CNDA, Press release, 10 March 2023, available in French at: https://bit.ly/3VpIoyW.

[11] Senate, Reply to written question n. 05842, 24 January 2019, available in French at: https://bit.ly/2GRdMlI.

[12] IOM, ‘Voluntary relocation scheme from Greece to other European countries, Factsheet, 10 January 2022, available at: https://bit.ly/3t3CeGO.

Table of contents

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