A. (Afghanistan) v Finnish Immigration Service
FI: Supreme Administrative Court confirms Dublin transfer to Greece assessing that despite shortcomings in the asylum and reception systems, there are no longer systemic deficiencies
A., an Afghan national, appealed the Finnish Immigration Service decision to reject the residence permit request and requested an oral hearing before the administrative court. His application for international protection was rejected as inadmissible and a return decision to Greece was issued under Dublin III Regulation, the Greek authorities having accepted to readmit the applicant.
By decision of 27 May 2020, the Helsinki Administrative Court reiterated that following the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in M.S.S. v. Belgium and Greece, the revised Qualification Directive (2011/95 / EU), the revised Asylum Procedures Directive (2013/32 / EU) and the revised Reception Conditions Directive (2013/33 / EU) have been transposed into Greek law and despite shortcomings in asylum procedures and reception conditions reported in Greece, there is a high threshold for a derogation from the transfer under Dublin III Regulation. The Administrative Court considered that there are no longer systemic deficiencies in Greece and the individual situation of the applicant together with the general situation in Greece must be assessed in the light of a potential risk of inhuman or degrading treatment if returned to Greece. The court held that there is no indication in the file that the applicant would be in a vulnerable situation and the Greek authorities stated the applicant would be accommodated in accordance with the Reception Conditions Directive provisions and his rights will be respected in the asylum procedure. The applicant’s request was rejected by the Administrative Court, the entry in Finland was refused, with a 2 years entry ban, and the return to Greece was decided.
A. appealed before the Supreme Administrative Court arguing that the Finnish Immigration Service has not provided concrete guarantees concerning his reception in Greece and safeguards of fundamental rights in the asylum process. The Supreme Administrative Court rejected the request for oral hearing as not necessary and rejected also the request for an advisory opinion from the European Court of Human Rights because there was no principle question of interpretation or application of the ECHR.
Concerning the derogation from the transfer to Greece, the Supreme Administrative Court detailed the national and European legislation and case law related to the situation in Greece and the risk of inhuman and degrading treatment if returned to Greece and upheld, and concluded that since 2011 when transfers to Greece under the Dublin Regulation were suspended due to systemic deficiencies in the Greek reception and asylum systems, there were major and significant improvements and developments in Greece that taken jointly with the individual situation of the applicant, show no grounds to derogate from the Dublin transfer or to make application of the discretionary clause provided in Article 17 of the Dublin III Regulation.
Assessment of Application; Dublin procedure; Torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment ;
Supreme Administrative Court (KHO) Official Website
Finland, Supreme Administrative Court [Korkein hallinto-oikeus], A. (Afghanistan) v Finnish Immigration Service, FI: KHO: 2020: 4219 , 13 November 2020. Link redirects to the English summary in the EASO Case Law Database.