On the 2nd of March 2023, the Court of The Hague published its judgment in respect of the joined cases NL22.24529 and NL22.24530. The case concerned a Syrian applicant who applied for asylum in the Netherlands, but the authorities rejected his request because Romania was allegedly the responsible Member State. The applicant appealed stating that the principle of mutual trust cannot be assumed as he could be subjected to summary removals.
The Court first declared that removals of this nature are a fundamental systemic flaw in the asylum procedure reaching a particularly high threshold of seriousness as mentioned under Article 3(2) of the Dublin Regulation. The Court stated that it follows from the submitted evidence that summary removals in Romania are not occasional and have been occurring for a long time and on a large scale.
The Court then declared that systemic flaws in the asylum procedure due to summary removals are also applicable to Dublin returnees because the applicant submitted evidence from KlikAktiv stating that it is aware of at least four removals of Dublin returnees and that there is physical evidence in two of those cases. The Court therefore concludes there are serious indications that Dublin returnees, even those not close to the border, are subjected to summary removals. Considering this and taken into account that Dublin returnees are free to move within Romania, the Court ruled that the State Secretary should have conducted a more extensive investigation into these removals and therefore annulled the return decision.