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DE: Regional Administrative Court ruled that applicant risks chain-refoulement to Turkey, if returned to Greece

Input Provided By
Other Source/Information:
Referral to the CJEU
Relevant Legislative Provisions
Dublin Regulation III (Regulation (EU) No 604/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013 establishing the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an application for IP); Revised Asylum Procedures Directive (Directive 2013/32/EU on common procedures for granting and withdrawing international protection) and/or APD 2005/85/CE;
Germany, Regional Administrative Court [Verwaltungsgerichte], Applicant (Syrian) v Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, M 11 S 19.50722 M 11 S 19.50759 , 17 July 2019. Link redirects to the English summary in the EUAA Case Law Database.
Permanent link to the case
Case history
Related cases:

According to EDAL:

On 17 July, the Administrative Court of Munich ruled to suspend the transfer of a Syrian national to Greece under the Dublin III Regulation 604/2013 (the Dublin Regulation).

The applicant previously applied for asylum on the island of Kos, Greece in 2018. In Greece, his application was deemed inadmissible as Turkey was considered the ‘First Country of Asylum’. The applicant subsequently travelled to Germany to join his parents and two brothers who live in Nuremberg. The German Federal Police apprehended the applicant following a border police check on a bus coming from Austria on 13 June 2019 and placed him in detention, refusing entry to the territory. Proceedings were then launched to return the applicant to Greece under the Dublin Regulation.

In examining the case, the Court held that the applicant, if returned to Greece, would likely risk chain refoulement to Turkey. While it recognised that return to a safe country is provided for under Article 38 of the recast Asylum Procedures Directive 2013/32/EU (recast APD), the third country must meet certain requirements in order for this concept to be applied. It held that it was doubtful as to whether Greece fully complies with Article 38 (1)(c) of the recast APD, which requires that the third country acts in accordance with the principle of non-refoulement enshrined in the Geneva Convention and that there is the possibility in that country to apply for protection.

The Court found that Turkey does not sufficiently implement the Geneva Convention in granting protection status for all applicants for asylum. It found that Syrian nationals are granted “temporary protection” but not a genuine status in accordance with the Geneva Convention. It ruled that this does not meet the requirements of Article 38 (1) of the recast APD.

The Court also held that the German-Greek Bilateral Agreement did not apply in the instant case as the applicant was denied entry to the territory on the grounds that he did not have the correct documentation. The Court also found that the Dublin Regulation proceedings were launched too soon and not in accordance with established procedure of the Regulation. The Court held that while the Dublin Regulation does not prohibit border procedures, transfers should be carried out following the steps laid out in the Regulation. As a result, the Court ruled to suspend the return order, awaiting a further hearing.

Country of Decision
Court Name
DE: Regional Administrative Court [Verwaltungsgerichte]
Case Number
M 11 S 19.50722 M 11 S 19.50759
Date of Decision
Country of Origin
Border procedures
Dublin procedure
Safe Country concept/Safe Country of Origin/ Safe third country