Judging the Charter

The Charter in judicial practise with a special focus on the case of protection of refugees and asylum seekers

CIMADE, GISTI

Case Number: C-179/11

Relevance of Decision

In this judgement the CJEU interpreted provisions of the Reception Directive 2003/9 in the light of Article 1 and Article 18 of the Charter.

Facts of the case

On 26 January 2010 the Cimade and the Groupe d’information et de soutien des immigrés (GISTI) – two French NGOs - applied to the Council of State, France, seeking to have the circular of 3 November 2009 concerning recipients of temporary tideover allowance (ATA) annulled. They submit that that circular is contrary to the objectives of Directive 2003/9 in so far as it excludes asylum seekers from entitlement to the ATA where, in application of Dublin II Regulation, the French Republic calls upon another Member State, to take charge of them or take them back.

Legal Questions

1. Whether a Member State to which an application for asylum has been made is also obliged to grant the minimum reception conditions for reception of asylum seekers laid down in Directive 2003/9 to an asylum seeker in respect of whom it decides, under Dublin II , to call upon another Member State, to take charge of or take back the person concerned.

2. When the obligation on a Member State in receipt of an application for asylum to grant the minimum reception conditions laid down in Directive 2003/9 to an asylum seeker ceases, with regard to an asylum seeker in respect of whom it decides, under Dublin II, to call upon another Member State, to take charge of or take back that applicant. Which Member State should assume the financial burden of providing those minimum conditions.

Court Findings

1. The provisions of Directive 2003/9 must also be interpreted in the light of the general scheme and purpose of the directive and while respecting the fundamental rights and observing the principles recognised in particular by the Charter. The directive aims in particular to ensure full respect for human dignity and to promote the application of Articles 1 and 18 of the Charter.

Member State in receipt of an application for asylum is obliged to grant the minimum conditions for reception of asylum seekers laid down in Directive 2003/9 even to an asylum seeker in respect of whom it decides, under Dublin II Regulation, to call upon another Member State, to take charge of or take back that applicant.

2. Obligation on a Member State in receipt of an application for asylum to grant the minimum reception conditions laid down in Directive 2003/9 to an asylum seeker in respect of whom it decides, under Dublin II Regulation, to call upon another Member State to take charge of or take back that applicant, ceases when that same applicant is actually transferred by the requesting Member State, and the financial burden of granting those minimum conditions is to be assumed by that requesting Member State, which is subject to that obligation.

Critical Assessment

The impact of this judgment on national law and the use of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights was described in the European Council on Refugees and Exiles publication: "Preliminary Deference?", available at https://www.ecre.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/CJEU-study-Feb-2017-NEW.pdf

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Europe