Switzerland’s defence of the Dublin accords is not a coincidence
What sort of welcome do migrants receive in Europe? While Italy is vociferously calling for the abolition of the Dublin accords, Switzerland and other European nations continue to defend them. And not by chance: since 2009, Switzerland has sent back the most refugees of any European country, mostly to Italy.
- Deutsch Asyl: Schweiz verteidigt Dublin-Abkommen nicht zufällig
- Español No es casual que Suiza defienda el acuerdo de Dublín
- Português Suíça tem suas razões para defender o acordo de Dublin
- 中文 庇护申请：瑞士捍卫都柏林公约并非巧合
- Français La Suisse défend l’accord de Dublin et ce n’est pas un hasard
- عربي دفاع سويسرا عن معاهدة دبلن ليس من قبيل المُصادفة
- Pусский Почему Швейцария заинтересована в Дублинском соглашении?
- 日本語 ダブリン規約を支持するスイス その背景は？
- Italiano Asilo: la Svizzera difende l’accordo di Dublino, e non è un caso (original)
Although Switzerland is not one of the main destination countries for asylum seekers, between 2009 and 2014 it was the country that transferred the most migrants to another EU state.
This practice is part of the Dublin accords, signed in 1990 and adopted by Switzerland in December 2008. According to this agreement, an asylum application can be made only once – as a rule, in the first country in which the migrant is registered. In most cases, this is Italy or Greece.
However, not all countries are equal when it comes to the Dublin accords. For one thing, the registration of migrants is not systematic. Furthermore, the first-country-of-transit rule is enforced with varying degrees of rigidity, and ultimately, some countries are more reluctant than others to take back asylum seekers.
These elements explain in part the disparity illustrated in the graphic. Over six years, Switzerland has sent back 19,517 people to another European country, or 15% of its asylum seekers. Germany, the main destination country, has sent back 3% (18,331) and Sweden 4% (9,946).
The Dublin accords are being seriously tested by immigration pressure. In 2015, the State Secretariat for Migration demanded the transfer of 17,377 people – but only 2,461 were recorded as having left Swiss territory.
The number of transfers dropped by 5.8% compared with 2014, despite the number of asylum applications increasing by 66.3% to around 40,000. The State Secretariat for Migration says this is because cooperation with neighbouring Italy is increasingly difficult.
Nevertheless, between 2009 and 2014, Switzerland clearly benefited overall from Dublin: it transferred 19,517 asylum seekers but accepted only 2,523 from other EU countries.
The following graphic shows the difference between the transfer requests received by a country and the number of migrants actually taken in as a result of the Dublin accords.
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