Differential treatment of specific nationalities in the procedure


Country Report: Differential treatment of specific nationalities in the procedure Last updated: 31/05/23


According to Article 12(2-bis) of the Procedure Decree, the CNDA may designate countries for the nationals of which the personal interview can be omitted, on the basis that subsidiary protection can be granted (see Regular Procedure: Personal Interview). Currently, the CNDA has not yet designated such countries.

Statistics on decisions in asylum applications in 2022 show high recognition rates for certain nationalities, in particular around 95% for Afghans, 95% for Somalis, 88% for Venezuelans, 87% for Eritreans, 86% for Malians, 85% for Iraqis, 83% for Syrians, 71% for Salvadorians.[1]

The issue, on 4 October 2019, of the Safe Country of Origin decree, has directly affected the treatment and prerogatives of asylum seekers whose nationalities are indicated by the decree, also because the CNDA directive allows Territorial Commissions to issue rejections for manifestly unfounded applications.

The same considerations are valid about the Ministry of Abroad Decree of 17 March 2023 which included, among the safe countries of origin, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, the Gambia and Ghana.

Tunisia is among the top ten main countries of origin of applicants for international protection in 2022 (over 5,500 applicants, representing 7% of applications lodged) and is one of the countries with the highest rejection rate (76% of the 2,095 applications lodged by Tunisians examined in 2022 were rejected). Many concerns have been recently raised regarding the future treatment of Nigerian applicants, the fifth nationality of asylum application in 2022; despite the positive recognition rate of around 60% for Nigerian citizens, the country has been included in the safe countries of origins’ list, which will lead to applications to be treated in the accelerated procedure. Due to the reduced procedural guarantees it entails, this change will most likely also affect recognition rates.

In practice, as already highlighted in the section regarding Registration, some nationalities face more difficulties in accessing the asylum procedure, both at hotspots, at Questure and, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, aboard quarantine vessels. ASGI has reported in 2021 as in previous years, that people from Tunisia were notified expulsion orders despite having expressly requested international protection with the practice of the “double information paper”.[2] Serious criticalities in access to the procedure, due to lack of information provision and legal assistance as well as de facto detention, were reported by ASGI with specific regard to Tunisians arriving in the island of Pantelleria, where landed migrants are channelled in hotspot-like procedures (see in Detention).[3]

On 30 March 2023, the ECHR condemned Italy for the violation of Article 4 Protocol 4 for the removal to Tunisia of 4 Tunisian nationals who were removed to Tunisia after being placed in de facto detention in the Lampedusa hotspot without proper regard to their individual situation.[4]





[1] Ministry of Interior, I numeri dell’asilo, available in Italian at: https://bit.ly/3kvl29h.

[2] ASGI reports that with the practice of the “double information paper” implemented in Lampedusa’s hotspot, police authorities have foreign nationals – and especially those coming from Tunisia – sign a second information paper in which they formally “renounce” international protection declaring that there are no impediments to their repatriation, even if the they had previously expressed their will to request international protection. Rights on the skids. The experiment of quarantine ships and main points of criticism, ASGI, March 2021, available at: https://bit.ly/3tWEK25.    

[3] ASGI, La frontiera di Pantelleria: una sospensione del diritto. Report del sopralluogo giuridico di ASGI, June 2021, available in Italian at: https://bit.ly/3tcSwyD.

[4] J. and others v. Italy, Application no. 21329/18, 30 March 2023,  available at HUDOC: bit.ly/42TBqVD.

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