JRS Germany joins coalition in calls for fundamental change in EU responsibility sharing.


Asylum seekers are forced into situations on poverty and homelessness by

the current Dublin Regulation ©UNHCR

Brussels, 8th March 2013-  JRS Germany has joined a coalition of church and civil society organisations in Germany to produce a memorandum calling for fundamental changes in how asylum seekers are assessed and placed in the EU.

Entitled "Allocation of refugees in the European Union: for an equitable, solidarity based system of sharing responsibility" the proposals aim to reallocate responsibility from solely EU border states to a more shared EU wide system.

The current system, The Dublin Regulation, places responsibility for asylum procedure on the states at the EUs external borders. This puts a disproportionate burden on these countries and in many cases leads to over taxation.

For refugees in countries like Greece, Italy, Hungary and Malta the current EU policy often leads to prolonged detention, which is in direct contravention to international law. In many cases the current system leads to refugees becoming homeless, becoming victims of unprovoked attacks and being left in abject poverty.

In the Memorandum the signatory organisations present their own proposal for a human rights-based restructuring of the Dublin system. This proposal demands that the “place of irregular border crossing” provision be dropped and replaced by a “principle of free choice of member state”.

This principal will allow asylum seekers to decide in which EU member state to file their application for protection.

There are several arguments in favour of such a change of system

  • Free choice will allow asylum seekers to go where they can receive support from their families or communities. This is not just beneficial for the refugees but will also benefit integration and the provision of accommodation.


  • Refugees can be spared human rights violations if they are no longer forced to stay in countries that have neither a decent asylum system nor provide a minimum of humane treatment for them.


  • If asylum seekers are not deported to EU states to which they do not wish to go, that will prevent them from continuing to move around from one EU member state to the next. “Secondary” migration within the EU will then be avoided.


  • There will be a reduction in costs for the bureaucratic procedures necessary to return them from one country to the other. Any imbalances in capacity arising for member states may be corrected by a European Compensation Fund.

The Memorandum is a common initiative of Pro Asyl, the German Bar Association, Jesuit Refugee Service Germany, the Diakonie and several other organisations.

Full press release



Contact information:

JRS Europe, Brussels

David Colgan, Media Officer

Tel: +32 (0) 2 250 32 26

Email: europe.media@jrs.net




Jesuit Refugee Service Europe - Rue du Progrès (Vooruitgangstraat) 333/2 - B-1030 Bruxelles - Belgium
Tel: + 32 2 250 32 20 - Fax: + 32 2 250 32 29 - Email: europe(a)jrs.net