On Wednesday the 7th of December, Belgian Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration, Nicole de Moor has organized a ministerial meeting with fellow European ministers and the European Commissioner for Asylum and Migration, Ylva Johansson, to discuss the application of the Dublin Regulation in the European Union. The aim: enhanced cooperation around the Dublin procedure and preventing a new influx of asylum seekers into Belgium.
The Dublin Regulation, adopted in 2003, makes it possible to determine which EU member state is responsible for an application for international protection. Besides, applicants can be returned to this member state via a Dublin transfer. However, many member states do not respond to the request for a take back.
European solidarity is the basis of the common asylum and migration system.
Nicole de Moor advocates for the correct application of Dublin rules by all EU member states: "People travelling around from one member state to another will continue to put pressure on our system if we do not tackle it immediately. Each member state must do its part to ensure real solidarity at the European level."
Since the end of this summer, Belgium has introduced a renewed approach to the application of this Dublin procedure. An accelerated procedure is being applied, thanks to the opening of a Dublin centre, located in Zaventem. In 2022, the Belgian Immigration Office significantly increased its efforts to handle Dublin cases. 13 201 decisions were taken, half of which resulted in an agreement, and 745 persons have been returned to the competent member state so far. With the revised approach, the numbers are increasing remarkably. Only 454 persons were transferred in 2020 and 429 in 2021.
Nicole de Moor: " I’m positive on the fact the effective transfers are taking up again. Since the new procedure and the opening of the Dublin center, our services have taken the highest number of decisions in 2 years. This resulted in 113 transfers in November, compared to an average of 70 transfers per month.”