Belgium: CALL annuls Dublin III transfer to France due to inadequate assessment of effectiveness of access to healthcare for asylum seekers

Thursday, January 14, 2016

This case relates to an Algerian national who claimed asylum in Belgium on 18 May 2015. After a ‘take charge’ request, the French authorities agreed to accept responsibility for his application pursuant to Article 12(2) of the Dublin III Regulation. The Belgian authorities therefore issued a decision refusing to grant the applicant entry and issued an order for him to leave the territory.
The applicant challenged this, submitting a medical report which showed that he suffered from cardiac problems linked to stress, for which he was receiving medication. He argued that there were difficulties in accessing the asylum procedure with long waiting periods due to delays in registering an asylum claim in France, during which asylum seekers did not have access to minimum reception conditions. In addition, as a Dublin returnee he was not guaranteed access to health care for the first three months after transfer, as state medical aid was conditional on 3 months residence in France. Both the applicant and the Belgian authorities sought to rely on the AIDA Country Report for France dated January 2015, and a report by Nils Muižnieks dated 17 February 2015. The applicant argued that these international reports had not been properly considered by the Belgian authorities, which had given them a partial reading.
CALL cited sections of the AIDA report on problematic access to the asylum procedure (pages 16-17) and access to healthcare (pages 72 and 74) and the observations of Commissioner Muižnieks. It considered that the issue was more nuanced than the conclusion reached by the Belgian authorities that access to healthcare was ensured in legislation and practice for asylum seekers. The Belgian authorities had not considered it necessary to concretely examine the effectiveness of access to health care for asylum seekers in France, which meant that the decision under challenge was insufficiently motivated. It therefore annulled the decision.
Based on an unofficial ELENA translation. The ELENA Weekly Legal Update would like to thank Catherine Van Cutsem for providing this judgment. Please note that an updated AIDA Country Report on France is now available, dated December 2015. 

This item was reproduced with the permission of ECRE from the weekly ELENA legal update supported by the Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Funding Programme and distributed by email. The purpose of these updates is to inform asylum lawyers and legal organizations supporting asylum seekers and refugees of recent developments in the field of asylum law. Please note that the information provided is taken from publicly available information on the internet. Every reasonable effort is made to make the content accurate and up to date at the time each item is published but no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by ECRE, the IRC or its partners.



Dublin Transfer
Health (right to)
Material reception conditions
Reception conditions