As snow begins to fall on northern Greece, thousands of refugees are still lodged in tents or in hangars and old unheated factories. For the European Commission, however, the Greek asylum system is in a good state of affairs. It therefore provides that the other countries signatory to the Dublin III Regulation may deport asylum-seekers from 15th March 2017.
The Dublin III Regulation lays down the rules determining the country responsible for asylum applications and the procedures for returning them to that country. This is most of the time from the country of entry into the European Union, the registration of fingerprints in the EURODAC database being the proof. The installation of “hotspots” on the Greek-Turkish border made it possible to systematically take the fingerprints of Exiles entering Greece.
But the European Court of Human Rights had repeatedly condemned European countries for sending asylum-seekers back to Greece, finding that the way they were treated there constituted inhuman and degrading treatment . Almost all countries have therefore ceased deportations there, effectively placing Greece outside Dublin.
In its communique with a triumphant tone, the European Commission welcomes the smooth functioning of the agreement with Turkey allowing Exiles to return to Greece. The same commanding optimism in relation to the reception schemes in other European countries of the refugees present in Greece. Yet, according to the Commission’s own figures, out of more than 60,000 “relocations” planned, the member states pledged a total of just over 12,000 people and only 6,000 in one year.
In its proposal for a new Dublin IV regulation, the Commission plans to remove the exceptions to deportation (of minors, vulnerable persons, and the possibility of a country to choose to examine an asylum application) and systematize deportation to third countries Like Turkey. It has concluded readmission agreements with many countries of origin of the exiles (Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iraq, Iran, Sudan …) in order to deport them more easily.
In France, the government has increased the number of evictions under the Dublin III regulation and has set up a new mechanism, the PRAHDA, to facilitate deportations. This is despite the fact that the fate of people housed in the Orientation and Reception Centres (here, here, here and there) and placed in the Dublin procedure remains problematic.