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Dublin system

Description of EU system of application for international protection 


The question of who is responsible for examining an application for asylum was first addressed by Schengen Implementation Agreement, which was signed in 1990 in relation to realisation of freedom of movement for individuals within the territories of the contracting states. This document established fairly detailed rules for determination of the contracting state that is responsible for examining an application for asylum lodged in the territories of these states. As, at that time, the majority of Member States of the European Communities were not contracting parties to both Schengen treaties and given the necessity of resolving the issues connected with a significant influx of asylum seekers, the Convention determining the State responsible for examining applications for asylum lodged in one of the Member States of the European Communities (known as Dublin Convention) was adopted that same year. Dublin Convention entered into force on 1 September 1997 and all of the EU Member States at that time, as well as Norway and Iceland, became contracting parties to the convention.

With the adoption of Amsterdam Treaty, a significant portion of the cooperation in the areas of justice and internal affairs, including common visa, asylum and immigration polices, were transferred to the first (community) pillar of the European Communities. The Amsterdam Treaty established time limits for adopting community legislation with regard to the above-specified areas. As far as common asylum policy is concerned, Article K.1 of Amsterdam Treaty (Article 63 of the Treaty Establishing the European Community) established the obligation to adopt community legislation addressing the relevant issues, including the definition of criteria that would determine the responsibility of a Member State for examining an application for asylum lodged by a third country national, within a period of five years of the date the treaty entered into force. In accordance with this obligation, the Council (EC) adopted Regulation No. 343/2003 on 18 February 2003, which defines the criteria and mechanisms to be applied for the purpose of determining the state responsible for examining an application for asylum lodged in any of the member states of the European Communities (also known as Dublin II Regulation). In practice, Dublin II Regulation fully replaced Dublin Convention and is now considered to be the backbone of entire Dublin system.

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