In May 2017, the next President of the Republic will be responsible for defining the main direction of France's refugee policy.
Today, in spite of claims of a reception policy (increasing the number of places in reception centres for asylum seekers - CADA, new places for refugees from the unauthorized refugee camp in Calais, the humanitarian centre in Paris), France has for months been carrying out a policy of mass expulsion of asylum seekers made possible by the mechanisms of the Dublin III regulation.
Collectives, associations and supportive citizens, appalled by this double talk, denounce the Dublin Regulation and ask French presidential candidates to speak out.
According to European legislation, a potential refugee must seek asylum in the first European country where he or she sets foot, except in a few cases (a family member already present in a member state or a risk of ill-treatment in the first country, for example). The proof of having been in another European country is usually based on a person's fingerprints registered in the Eurodac file. These fingerprints are very often obtained by force.
The Eurodac report alone justifies the application of the so-called Dublin procedure for asylum seekers, after which they can be sent back to the first European country entered. In the logic of this procedure, people are deported without having ever had the opportunity to explain why they came to France.
Currently, this procedure makes it possible to obstruct 70 to 90% of asylum applications and justifies a policy of mass expulsions (so-called "transfers").
The Dublin III Regulation is a pretext for non-reception.
The application of the Dublin procedure is not compulsory; states are free to examine the asylum applications of any person. France has decided to do the opposite. The Interior Minister, in a letter in July 2016, explicitly ordered prefectures to systematically apply Dublin procedures to people registered in Eurodac and increase the number of people expelled. Prefects strictly enforced the order and Dublin expulsions increased 150% from 2015 to 2016.
The Dublin III regulation makes the situation for people just arriving extremely difficult.
Persons referred to as "Dublinned", even when they are not under house arrest, are subject to multiple summonses throughout the application process. If they do not show up, they are said to be "on the run": they lose their asylum seeker's rights, namely a subsistence allowance and accommodation, and have to wait 18 months to apply again for asylum in France. They also live under the perpetual fear of being arrested, placed in detention centres and deported. This socio-economic situation, induced by the unfair prefectural practices encouraged by the government, is an ideal breeding ground for networks of exploitation, hidden labour and forced begging.
The Dublin III regulation puts all the migratory strain on the countries of Southern and Eastern Europe.
Asylum seekers arrive in countries in the south and east of Europe that have the least ability to receive them. Countries in the north and west absolve themselves of all responsibility and leave a few countries to struggle with what the EU calls the migratory "burden". To the point of exposing refugees to serious right-of-asylum violations, systematic imprisonment and violence.
Alone in receiving refugees, these few border states provide a basis for the claim "We cannot take in refugees! Look how bad it is here!"
The Dublin III regulation allows for expelling to countries where the right to asylum and other human rights are not respected.
Refusing their transfer to other countries is not a whim of Dublinned individuals. They rightly fear their rights will not be respected. Several European countries have been singled out by both NGOs and institutions :
The Dublin III regulation carries the seeds of a denial of legal rights.
There are huge inequalities in the treatment of asylum applications from one European country to another. Depending on their nationality and when they apply, chances for an asylum seeker to be recognized as a refugee vary from 80% to 50% or even 3% in different countries! The Dublin Regulation makes it impossible to apply again for asylum elsewhere: thus, it not only prevents the choice of country, but leaves no second chance.
The Dublin III regulation makes the subcontracting of mass deportation to countries of origin possible.
The Dublin expulsions allow the states in north and west of Europe to completely disregard their responsibilities toward asylum seekers. The notion of a "safe country" is not the same everywhere in Europe: if, for example, France does not send people back to Afghanistan, this is not the case for Norway, Belgium, Croatia or Germany. When France transfers "Dublinned" people to these countries, it is turning a blind eye on their future. It is not uncommon for European states to expel people several times until one of the countries decides to deport them, even to a country at war. These deportations are not anecdotal :
When refugees arrive in the country, France carries out an absurd and unjustified sorting between "good refugees" and "Dublinables". For obvious geographical reasons, but also because of sanctions imposed on transportation companies, it has become virtually impossible to apply for asylum in France without passing through another European country. Escaping Dublin III is a matter of chance and luck.
This sorting procedure allows France to present a reception policy that concerns only a small minority of asylum seekers, while practicing a brutal policy of expulsion and obstruction of the right of asylum.
However another way is possible, more in keeping with the values of our country that the future President of the Republic should guarantee.
Article 17 of the Dublin Regulation III states :
(17) Any Member State should be able to derogate from the responsibility criteria, in particular on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, in order to bring together family members, relatives or any other family relations and examine an application for international protection lodged with it or with another Member State, even if such examination is not its responsibility under the binding criteria laid down in this Regulation.
This article has been included in the French Constitution in article 53-1, which states :
[…] However, even if the request does not fall within their jurisdiction under the terms of such agreements, the authorities of the Republic shall remain empowered to grant asylum to any Foreigner who is persecuted for his action in pursuit of freedom or who seeks the protection of France on other grounds.
Developing an effective asylum and reception policy is therefore a matter of political choice.
The collectives united here ask candidates to the presidency of the Republic:
The collectives united :
ATTAC Paris Centre
Collectif 20e Solidaire avec Tous les Migrants
Collectif Migrants Bienvenue 34
Collectif Solidarité Migrants 19e
Collectif thé et café pour les réfugiés
Europe Ecologie - Les Verts
La Chapelle Debout !
La Cimade Ile-de-France
La Cuisine Des Migrants
L'Auberge des Migrants
Ligue des Droits de l'Homme Paris
Mouvement de la Paix Paris 19/20
Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste
Parti de Gauche
PCF Paris 19e
P'tit Dej' à Flandre
Réseau Education Sans Frontières
Réseau Études Supérieures et Orientation des Migrant.e.s et Exilé.e.s
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