Germany: Higher Administrative Court revokes the return of beneficiaries of international protection to Greece
On 19 April 2021, the Higher Administrative Court of in Lüneburg, Lower Saxony, ruled that two Syrian refugees entitled to international protection in Greece cannot be returned to Greece from Germany. The Court indicated that the human rights of the women could be jeopardized if they were deported to Greece.
The case concerns two Syrian nationals, whose asylum application was rejected as inadmissible in March 2018 when the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees was notified that they have already been granted international protection in Greece. The German Migration authority dismissed their applications and an appeal on the grounds that the women could be able to receive basic support in Greece provided by humanitarian aid organizations and informal networks. Afterwards, a deportation order to Greece was also issued and the Administrative Court rejected the applicant's appeals against these decisions.
Subsequently, the applicants appealed to the Higher Administrative Court in Lüneburg which ruled the decision of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees was unlawful. The Court pointed out that Member States are prohibited from using the power to reject an application for international protection as inadmissible where there is a serious risk of an infringement of Article 4 of the Charter.
The Higher Administrative Court consequently recognized recent domestic ruling. After a thorough consideration of the situation concerning accommodation, employment and social benefits for beneficiaries of international protection in Greece, it concluded that the applicants were likely, regardless of motivation or personal choices, to find themselves in a situation of extreme material distress and be unable to meet their most basic needs if deported to Greece.
In this respect, the Higher Administrative Court cancelled the previous decision of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees to dismiss the applicant’s application for asylum as inadmissible, implying that the deportation order has to be revoked as well.
NIEM’s National Coalition Officer
The Migration Policy Programme
Institute of Public Affairs