Judging the Charter

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

Applicability – Yes or no? Minimum standards for the reception of asylum seekers

A third country national made an application for international protection at the border of an EU member state.

In two days he arrived to the reception centre for asylum-seekers. From that that day on he was entitled to material reception conditions (housing, meals, medical assistance, pocket money etc.).

He argues that material reception conditions available for him do not provide an adequate standard of living. Moreover he argues that material reception conditions shall be available to him since he made his application for international protection at the border, not since he arrived to the reception centre.

Is the Charter applicable in this situation?


In the judgement C‑179/11, Cimade, GISTI the Court held that the Reception Directive 2003/9 aims in particular to ensure full respect for human dignity and to promote the application of Articles 1 and 18 of the Charter.

It also held that the general scheme and purpose of Reception Directive and the observance of fundamental rights, in particular the requirements of Article 1 of the Charter, under which human dignity must be respected and protected, the asylum seeker may not, be deprived – even for a temporary period of time after the making of the application for asylum of the protection of the minimum standards laid down by that directive.

The Court reiterated its findings in judgment C‑79/13, Saciri.