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Netherlands
Country of Decision : Netherlands
Court Name : NL: Council of State [Afdeling Bestuursrechtspraak van de Raad van State]
Date of decision : 08/04/2020
Type : Judgment
ECLI : ECLI:NL:RVS:2020:986
Case Number/Citation/ Document Symbol : cases 201907322/1, 201907435/1, 202001915/1

Applicants v State Secretary for Justice and Security (Staatssecretaris van Justitie en Veiligheid)

NL: The Council of State ruled on Dublin transfers to Italy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The cases concern the transfer of vulnerable third country nationals to Italy.

In the first two cases the applicants are a single woman with a child, and respectively a man with a serious mental illness. For both of them, under Dublin III Regulation, Italy was responsible for examining the asylum applications. In these two cases, the Council of State assessed the situation in Italy prior to the COVID-19 pandemic (after the Salvini Decree), considering the applicants' arguments that Italy lacks sufficient and adequate reception facilities for particularly vulnerable foreign nationals. The Council of State held that although reception conditions in Italy have been cut back systematically but not to the extent that third country nationals can no longer be accommodated adequately. In addition, the Dutch State Secretary informed the Italian authorities about the vulnerable condition of the applicants. Furthermore, the Italian authorities have confirmed that they provide reception conditions in accordance with fundamental rights, the needs of vulnerable people and the requirements of the EU Reception Directive.

The third case concerned transfers to Italy after the COVID-19 crisis. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic it was impossible to transfer foreign nationals to Italy. The issue raised in this case was whether Italy could still be considered the responsible state for examining asylum application. The Council of State held that the fact that a transfer is temporarily impossible in practice does not affect Italy's responsibility for examining the asylum application. It further held that the State Secretary must assess whether and when the transfer can actually take place.

COVID-19/Emergency measures; Dublin procedure;

Dublin Regulation III (Regulation (EU) No 604/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013 establishing the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an application for IP);

EASO Courts and Tribunals Network

Netherlands, Council of State [Afdeling Bestuursrechtspraak van de Raad van State], Applicants v State Secretary for Justice and Security (Staatssecretaris van Justitie en Veiligheid), cases 201907322/1, 201907435/1, 202001915/1 , ECLI:NL:RVS:2020:986, 08 April 2020. Link redirects to the English summary in the EASO Case Law Database.

https://caselaw.easo.europa.eu/pages/viewcaselaw.aspx?CaseLawID=1251