German Court Rules Against Sending Back Refugees to Bulgaria

Bulgaria in EU | February 9, 2016, Tuesday // 15:23|  views

Refugees wait for food to be distributed in a building converted into refugee accommodation housing around 1,200 people, in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, 03 February 2016. Photo EPA/BGNES

A German court has ruled against deportation of refugees to Bulgaria if they had been registered there first upon entering the European Union because Bulgaria wasn’t a safe country of origin.

The Administrative Court in Saarlouis, in the federal state of Saarland, ruled last week that refugees in Bulgaria were faced with the risk to remain homeless in the streets and were practically left without medical care, according to Deutsche Welle.

The court also said that the refugees had no chance to work in Bulgaria and the country’s government was doing nothing for the integration of those people.

The plaintiff in the case was a Syrian woman who had fled with her Lebanese husband and travelled through Bulgaria to Germany, where she applied for asylum. The request was refused and they were to be sent back to Bulgaria in line with the provisions of the Dublin Regulation.

The Dublin Regulation establishes the Member State responsible for the examination of the asylum application. The criteria for establishing responsibility run, in hierarchical order, from family considerations, to recent possession of visa or residence permit in a Member State, to whether the applicant has entered EU irregularly, or regularly.

With Bulgaria described as unsafe country of origin by the court a deportation is impossible, according to Saarbr?cker Zeitung.

The court ruling is not final and can be appealed.

There are 16 similar cases in the federal state of Saarland which can be influenced by the decision of the Administrative Court in Saarlouis, Saarbr?cker Zeitung said.

The decision has already drawn fire from the governing Christian Democratic Union (CDU).

The deputy chairman of the CDU faction in Saarland parliament Roland Theiss has told Saarbr?cker Zeitung that other German courts had confirmed Bulgaria as a safe country to which refugees could be sent back.

"While life is not easy for refugees in Bulgaria, Germany simply can’t accept all those who are persecuted in their homeland. Whoever is fleeing war is entitled to protection in Europe, but not everyone is entitled to the social benefits in Germany," Deutsche Welle quoted Theiss as telling Saarbr?cker Zeitung.

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Tags: Bulgaria, Germany, Saarland, refugees, Saarbr?cker Zeitung, Deutsche Welle, CDU, Asylum, dublin regulation


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