On 5 July 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled in case C-213/17 X, which concerned a request for a preliminary ruling by the District Court of The Hague on the application of the Dublin III Regulation (DRIII) where an asylum applicant has lodged multiple asylum applications in two different Member States and is concomitantly the subject of a European Arrest Warrant.
First, the Court ruled that the take-back procedure laid down in Article 23 DRIII is applicable to a third-country national who has lodged a new application for international protection in one Member State although an application for international protection lodged previously in another Member State had been rejected by a decision of the competent authority, even if that decision has not yet become final owing to the bringing of an appeal which is pending before a court of that other Member State. Therefore, the authorities of the Member State in which that new application was lodged have the power to make a take back request in respect of the person concerned, as long as this request is made as quickly as possible and in any event within the periods laid down in that provision, as per the Court’s conclusions in C‑670/16 Mengesteab. This is so even where that another Member State was responsible for examining an application lodged previously or where an appeal brought against the rejection of one of those applications is pending before a court of that Member State when those periods expired.
Secondly, the CJEU found the making of a take back request in respect of a third-country national who is staying on its territory without a residence document does not require that Member State to suspend the examination of an appeal brought against the rejection of an application for international protection lodged previously, and subsequently to terminate that examination in the event that the requested Member State agrees to that request. When making a take back request in such cases, Member States are not obliged to provide information relating to the appeal.
Finally, the Court ruled that where an applicant for international protection has been surrendered by one Member State to another Member State under a European Arrest Warrant and is staying on the territory of that second Member State without having lodged a new application for international protection there, that second Member State may request the first Member State to take back that applicant and is not required to decide to examine the application lodged by that applicant. In the Court’s view, ruling otherwise could have the effect of deterring Member States from requesting the surrender of an asylum applicant for criminal prosecution in order to avoid having the responsibility for examining that person’s application at the end of the criminal proceedings transferred to them.
ELENA Weekly Legal Update, 6 July 2018, available here.
Click here to subscribe to the ELENA Weekly Legal Update.